In the novel Invisible Man, why does Dr. Bledsoe expel the narrator from college? What is the effect?
In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Dr. Bledsoe expels the unnamed narrator because he has shown a white supporter of the college a negative aspect of the town. Indeed, the narrator drives Mr. Norton through the poverty-stricken section of the town near the college and they meet Jim Trueblood, a black man who has impregnated his own daughter. When Mr. Norton passes out from heat and exhaustion, the narrator again brings him into a disreputable bar called The Golden Day. When the narrator finally brings Mr. Norton back to the college, Dr. Bledsoe is furious that the narrator showed him the rougher parts of the area:
“Haven't you the sense God gave a dog? We take these white folks where we want them to go, we show them what we want them to see. Don't you know that? I thought you had some sense” (102).
After exposing his true nature as a calloused man concerned only with maintaining his own position in society, Dr. Bledsoe expels the narrator, and the narrator sets off to New York City in order to find work. The fact that the narrator has been expelled changes the course of his life and is yet another experience that hardens him.