Invisible Man Questions and Answers

Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man explores many critical themes, including the role of racism in the South in the 1920's and 1930's, the nature of folklore and the importance of remembering history,...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2016, 2:50 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Invisible Man

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...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2016, 12:00 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In literature of this caliber, the interpretation of key elements is generally and purposefully multidimensional. The idea that Booker T. Washington served as inspiraton for The Founder, is...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2012, 5:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The Southern college that the narrator attends is modeled on Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which was founded by Booker T. Washington. This detail is important because, like Washington, Bledsoe...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2018, 11:11 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

Through the course of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the unnamed narrator is on a quest to discover his place in the world, and this forms the central conflict of the novel. As he moves among...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2021, 10:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The narrator describes "the sleeping ones" thoroughly in the Prologue. His "invisibility" occurs due to "a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact." However, it is not...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2018, 1:40 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

The number can be significant in a few ways: first, it contains the first 3 multiples of 3: 3, 6, and 9. Three is a significant number in Invisible Man: the narrator is the third generation since...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2010, 10:04 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

When Mrs. Hall pops her head round Griffin's door, she gets the fright of her life. In the strange guest's room there are blankets, pillows, and items of furniture frantically swirling around in...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2019, 7:43 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

Invisible Man is a story about a young, black, educated, southern man who arrives in New York City and begins to see reality and his place in it differently. He struggles to make his idealism real,...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2019, 2:52 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

A blindfold, in isolation, is imbued with many different symbolic connotations, but in the context of the "battle royal" in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the blindfold takes on even more...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2019, 9:15 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Invisible Man

The jazz music that the anonymous narrator spends all of his time listening to is deliberately included because it is another way that the author shows the protagonist is struggling to identify who...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2012, 2:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man is a story about a scientist who learns how to make himself invisible. While this sounds like a very interesting idea, it causes a lot of unexpected problems for the...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2015, 2:09 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

“Son, after I’m gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I never told you but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy’s country ever since I give up my...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2016, 1:48 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The narrator needs light because he lives a subterranean existence in a basement, but he certainly doesn't need the huge amount of lightbulbs that line every available inch of his cramped dwelling....

Latest answer posted July 23, 2019, 7:53 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

The narrator of Invisible Man himself perfectly exemplifies "outward conformity and inward questioning." The narrator starts his transformation and journey in America's heartland. In his youth, he...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2018, 9:54 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Jazz and blues are musical genres that are dominated by African American artists, which is what makes this music a particularly appropriate symbol in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Ellison’s...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2020, 3:49 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The narrator finds the scene with the blond man in "The Prologue" of Invisible Man ironic because the man has been "mugged" by someone who is "invisible." In "The Prologue," Ellison's narrator...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2019, 2:43 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Invisible Man

"Tod" means "death" in German. It is a symbolically appropriate name for Tod Clifton because, after serving as a member of the Brotherhood, Tod has suddenly disappeared. Brother Jack says, "He has...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2016, 11:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Mr. Emerson claims that he is on the narrator's side, and he shows him Dr. Bledsoe's letters. He doesn't want the narrator to be fooled into thinking Dr. Bledsoe is his friend. In fact, Dr. Bledsoe...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2019, 4:40 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man explores the subject of prejudices and stereotypes as they existed in the United States beginning in the 1930s and continuing for more than a decade thereafter. The...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2020, 3:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The unnamed narrator, the "Invisible Man" of the story has been invited to give his high school graduation address to the local townsfolk. Unfortunately, it turns out instead that he is simply a...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2017, 12:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

He says that he's invisible because people refuse to see him and that it's due to the construction of their "inner eyes" rather than their physical eyes. The type of invisibility the Narrator has...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2019, 3:26 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

There is absolutely symbolism in this, and in fact the title of this excellent work is linked to the way that the narrator remains anonymous throughout the entire text. One of the key themes of the...

Latest answer posted July 6, 2011, 7:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison’s classic tale of self-discovery explores and distinguishes stereotypes and prejudices in the North and the South over a fifteen-year period from the mid-1930s. The author portrays...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2020, 7:56 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Invisible Man

The figure of Rinehart appears in Invisible Man as both cipher and symbol. While he never actually appears in the novel in person, he becomes an important point of consideration and comparison for...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2018, 6:23 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the author explores stereotypes and prejudices in America from the early to mid-twentieth century. This novel of self-discovery presents an unnamed black man...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2020, 8:53 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Invisible Man

Mr. Norton's shock continue in the Golden Day, a bar and brothel where the narrator brings him after the older man insists he needs a drink following the shock of meeting the incestuous Jim...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2021, 12:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man decides to live underground because he feels betrayed by the Brotherhood and does not think he will be safe anywhere above ground. Chapter 25 finds The Invisible Man in a...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2013, 7:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In Ellison's book, racism presents a major challenge in the narrator's search for identity. Because of racism, the narrator finds himself facing two mutually exclusive choices: should he work...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2016, 10:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

As a Southern black man in New York, the narrator is aware of the stereotypes that impact others' perceptions of him. He knows that the assumptions these people may make about him are based on his...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2018, 10:14 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

I argue that the Battle Royal section in chapter one of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is not terribly realistic, but it does address genuine issues concerning race dynamics in the United States at...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2016, 10:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The narrator's perception of himself before his descent underground was that of a studious, dutiful son—someone who behaved according to others' expectations: All my life I had been looking for...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2018, 3:21 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

On his deathbed and in the hearing of his grandchildren, the grandfather says to his son, the narrator's father, Son, after I'm gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I never told you, but our...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2021, 2:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

You're right. There IS more than that. However, the secret to Tod Clifton's character runs deeper than the reason for his death. Tod Clifton is the martyr of The Invisible Man, a semi-Christ...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2015, 10:04 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In the first Chapter of Invisible Man, "The Battle Royal," the Invisible Man wants to be a young Booker T. Washington. The speech he gives to the white members of the Southern town's social elite...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2010, 9:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The unnamed narrator has a dream in which, instead of receiving a scholarship from members of the local white community, he receives an engraved document that reads "Keep This Nigger-Boy Running."...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2019, 8:54 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

It is not a coincidence that Ralph Ellison makes Mary, the most sympathetic woman in the novel, an older black woman. She is also one of few people in the novel with whom the narrator does not have...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2018, 8:44 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

Strange as it may seem given the nature of subsequent events, Mrs. Hall is initially quite happy to see Griffin arrive at the Coach and Horses inn. It is early February in the very depth of a cold,...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2018, 6:06 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Trueblood's horrific story of impregnating his daughter confirms Mr. Norton's and other white people's assumptions about black men. Singing spirituals and working his small piece of land has kept...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019, 2:11 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

The importance of this question is related to an incredibly significant motif in this story, which is that of blindness. The narrator again and again comments on the way in which so many characters...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2012, 2:32 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Names give people place, substance, and meaning. A name is integral to having a sense of identity. As writers like Primo Levi point out, for example, in their narratives of the Nazi concentration...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2021, 1:38 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Than yam vendor knows the Inivisible Man is from the South, as the yam is a symbol of Southern soul food. The narrator is in New York (Harlem, cold and bitter. After he bites into the ham, he has...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2010, 1:00 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The narrator treats women in a similar fashion to how the white, rich, ruling men treated black people and other minorities. Invisible Man is a story that really calls to attention the inequality...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2019, 2:11 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man's grandfather and Ras had both talked about this earlier: how can the narrator "overcome ‘em with yeses, undermine ‘em with grins, agree ‘em to death and destruction, let ‘em...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2010, 7:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

After slavery was made illegal, generations of African Americans had to make decisions about how to respond to continued inequalities. Even though slavery was officially abolished with the...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2017, 7:16 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

The message in the narrator's hibernation is that like a sleeping bear, one day the black man will awaken. When he does, he will be a force to be reckoned with. Sleep can only last for so long....

Latest answer posted May 1, 2007, 12:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The "Battle Royal" is probably the most memorable and pivotal scene in the novel. As you've guessed, the scene operates as a metaphor for a larger idea that Ellison wants to present about how black...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2016, 3:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

This remark made by the institutionalized veteran who was formerly a doctor comes after the narrator has driven Mr. Norton too far into the community of the African-American sharecroppers and they...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2015, 10:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Dr. Bledsoe is angry with the narrator for bringing Norton to visit Jim Trueblood, a Black man living in the former slave shacks near the college. Trueblood impregnated his daughter and speaks...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2021, 11:47 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

The Battle Royal section of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man does in fact serve as a rite of passage and an initiation into an unequal American society for the young, unnamed protagonist. The Battle...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2016, 11:50 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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