Questions and Answers for Invisible Man

Invisible Man

How could you describe the nature of Booker T. Washington's influence in helping, enlightening, and sustaining the...

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 concept of "boomeranging" is often times mentioned in the Ralph Ellison's novel "Invisible Man." If boomeranging...

What a great book! I hope you enjoyed it, too. As far as "boomeranging" in this novel, Ellison describes the world moving as a boomerang, instead of moving forward like an arrow. Our individual...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2015 7:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What are the differences between the narrator (Invisible man) and Dr. Bledsoe?

Dr. Bledsoe represents cynicism and disillusionment; while the narrator is optimistic at this stage in his journey because he doesn't yet recognize the ways in which the world to which he seeks to...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2019 4:54 am UTC

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

What is the reason behind the narrator’s conflict with the Brotherhood in Invisible Man?  

The conflict that develops between the narrator and the Brotherhood is part of a much bigger theme in the novel that we can see elsewhere in his life. This theme points towards the limitations of...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2012 4:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, what does the Invisible Man mean when he says that Sybil sees him as an "entertainer?"

Late in the novel, the unnamed narrator, or the invisible man, meets Sybil at a bar. The narrator says of Sybil, "she was one of those who assumed that my lectures on the woman question were based...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2016 5:26 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

How does the sub-theme of jazz incorporate itself into Invisible Man?

In Invisible Man, music is a recurring motif. Jazz and the blues, more specifically, relate to the writing style and mood of the novel respectively. Himself a jazz musician, Ellison has said:...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2010 7:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

I need help with the thesis in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man or also known as Battle Royal.

The thesis that anchors the story is that individuality is a basic human right to society, and a human obligation to one self- Racism opresses the individuality of those who are targeted....

Latest answer posted June 17, 2009 4:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Cite no less than three prominent examples of the repeating cycles that shape the plot of Invisible Man, and explain...

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man explores stereotypes and prejudices in the American North and South from the mid-1930s through the following fifteen-year period. The author portrays the protagonist...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2020 8:46 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, how does racism influence the narrator's search for identity?

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

What literary terms like conflict, symbolism, specific themes, epiphany, inagery, diction etc. are used on page 256...

(Hopefully, the Vintage Books edition is the one that you have.) In Chapter 13 after his symbolic "rebirth" from the electric shock that temporarily cleansed him of memory, the narrator purchases a...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2014 3:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man, what does the phrase "courage bumps" mean?

At one point in Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, the narrator recalls the period of adolescence, particularly the physical appearance of many people who go through that period: the expression...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2011 8:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Is the reader of Invisible Man meant to identify the narrator or to sympathize with him?  How does Ellison himself...

The novel espouses themes of existentialism, which touch all of us. He does not want us to sympathize (an emotional response) with him; rather, he entreats us to see him as an individual, and to...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2010 9:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Discuss the following series of questions, pertaining to Clifton from Invisible Man. "Why should a man deliberately...

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

In the epilogue of Invisible Man, why does the narrator say that "reality is as irresistible as a club"?

The narrator of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man characterizes reality this way because of the brutality that he has experienced as a young, black man living in a racially stratified America....

Latest answer posted April 12, 2016 8:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In "Battle Royal," Chapter 1 of Invisible Man, what are the reasons the boys are blindfolded? What does it symbolize?...

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

Is the Battle Royal section in Invisible Man realistic? Why or why not?

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

How to understand the message “Keep This Nigger-Boy Running"?

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

When was Invisible Man Published?

Ralph Ellison began writing his novel Invisible Man in the summer of 1945, during the time that he was on sick leave from the United States Merchant Marine in which he had been serving in World War...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2020 2:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

I need to compare and contrast Invisible Man and Up From Slavery. How do I do this?

Given that both novels, Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison) and Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington), depict the realities of facing prejudice the most important idea to focus upon would be that of the...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2011 11:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

How does the narrator in Invisible Man treat women?

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

Is the Invisible Man or Ras the Exhorter more convincing as a speaker and leader and why?

We might argue that Ras the Exhorter is a better leader than the novel's protagonist (we can call him the Invisible Man, as you've done in your question). Ras is the better leader in large part...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

When was Invisible Man written?

Ralph Ellison began writing Invisible Man in the mid-1940s, although the story takes place earlier in the twentieth century. The book took several years to complete. Specifically, according to the...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020 12:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

How does the narrator realize how the doll danced in Chapter 21 of The Invisible Man?

The narrator experiments with the offensive doll, trying to figure out what makes it move. He notices that it is nothing more than "a construction of tissue, cardboard and glue," and that its...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2010 11:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Do you think the narrator in Invisible Man finds his individuality?

Ralph Ellison's narrator is not yet free; he states that he must remain underground and remain invisible. He uses "hibernation" to describe his present state; he has not made any choices since the...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2012 7:18 am UTC

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

Who is Griffin?  

Griffin is the invisible man of the title. He's a brilliant chemistry student with an unhealthy obsession for the stranger aspects of science. In true mad scientist style, while conducting an...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2018 7:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

How does existentialism appear in Invisible Man?

Philosophically speaking, metaphysics is an attempt to discover the nature of reality. Followers seek to explain what exists and the nature of what exists. Ontology is a general branch of...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2020 8:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Fill in these three statements with regards to the novel: Reality is ______ to an Invisible Man. Morality is _____ to...

I'll fill in the third blank: Aspirations are futile to an Invisible Man. This knowledge is established early in the novel, first in the Battle Royal chapter and again when Dr. Bledsoe dismisses...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2018 3:51 am UTC

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

Why did the men who are giving the narrator a scholarship put him through such an ordeal at the club in Invisible Man?

When the narrator takes up his scholarship to the college, he encounters Dr. Bledsoe, the college president. Bledsoe is a sinister figure, and it becomes clear as the novel progresses that, though...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2020 5:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Discuss how Sartre’s work, the prologue to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Kara Walker’s A Work on Progress...

In Kara Walker’s artwork, Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential philosophy, and the Invisible Man prologue, there is an emphasis on the intersection of freedom, action, and identity. For Sartre, identity...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2020 3:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

How does "domination" present itself throughout the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison?

Domination presents itself in numerous episodes throughout the novel. You might look at the exchange between the narrator and Dr. Bledsoe, the Battle Royal, the narrator's feeling of tokenism when...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2018 11:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What does the outcome of the narrator's relationships with the white men suggest about the possibility of friendship/...

I'm not sure to which "white men" exactly you are referring (there are several), but here are the major ones: 1) The white leaders in the Battle Royal: they blindfold him with white cloth. They...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2010 11:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What did the speaker encounter in chap 13 that made him miss home?

The speaker encounters a cart full of baking yams; the scent reminds him of home. As the narrator is walking across town, he says: Then far down at the corner I saw an old man warming his hands...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2019 4:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

Write a note on Invisible Man.

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man deals primarily with issues of identity, specifically, Black identity in America. The question articulated indirectly in the opening chapter about how the...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

With the electroshock therapy, the narrator experiences 'rebirth' in Invisible Man. Ellison placed a few "clues" in...

That is Chapter 11 of Invisible Man and most of the elements in that chapter have symbolism. In this case, the doctor "with the new technology" suggested electroshock therapy as a radical way to...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2009 9:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What does the paint on the government building stand for?

Don't forget that even though it's a very bright white, it still has a measure of black in each gallon, which I've always taken to mean that there's a little bit of black (African American) in...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2007 12:53 am UTC

2 educator answers

Invisible Man

How does history repeat itself in Invisible Man?

This brilliant novel presents history and identity as being two concepts that are inseparable. The novel seems to suggest that who we are is a result of our own experience and history. Note the...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2011 7:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

How is 'time' instrumental in the narrator's quest for self-knowledge in "Invisible Man"?

The narrator moves from innocence and ignorance to a more realistic understanding of the world at large as he learns that he is, as he says, "an invisible man." One experience will not be...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2008 9:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What are the motifs in Invisible Man?  Give specific examples of the motifs.

In Invisible Man, the dominant motifs are: 1. Music: Louis Armstrong's "What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue" 2. Vision: the blindfolds 3. Speeches: the narrator's speech after the Battle...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2010 10:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What is the significance of blues and jazz in 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

In the novel, which colors are important and what might they symbolize?

Well, naturally, the simple ones like black and white would be colors to use in an essay. Keep in mind that the book deals with shades of black and white too; the government paint, Optic White, has...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2007 6:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Why is the narrator's identity kept from the reader in Invisible Man?

In Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, identity is a matter of contestation. Who decides what a person should be called? Surely not the notorious N-word, a slander used in the novel by bigots. For...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2020 9:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What do the various people/groups in the book symbolize?

That's a very vague question, and the groups can symbolize a variety of things. The groups that the reader belongs to will likely influence your perspective on this question.For example, look at...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2007 11:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

How does Invisible Man disparage the optimistic social program of the 19th Century black educator and writer Booker...

I think it is important to remember that the ideas of Booker T. Washington is not the only ideology or philosophy that is disparaged. In fact, the novel as a whole lampoons the various general...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2011 5:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, why does the narrator especially fear the sleeping farmer?

In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the narrator is an unnamed black man telling the story of his youth. He lives in a small Southern town, graduates from high school and is awarded a scholarship to...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2020 9:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What is a line the main character says or an action he does that reveals a great deal about who he is in Invisible...

"When I discover who I am, I'll be free," says the narrator of Invisible Man, newly awakened, suffering from amnesia (243). He is victimized by whites, betrayed by blacks, and alienated by...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2010 11:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Is Bledsoe invisible? Why or why not?

Bledsoe is absolutely invisible in the sense that his existence is obscured entirely by his identity as a black man. Invisible Man posits, essentially, that the racialization of people deprives...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2019 7:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What is Ellison's assessment of the South in Invisible Man?

On the whole, Ralph Ellison's assessment of the South, as displayed in Invisible Man, is thoroughly negative. This is only to be expected given that he was an African American and the South, for...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2020 8:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What is the importance of age in Invisible Man by Ellison?

Because the narrator of Ellison's Invisible Man is relatively young, and because he goes back to tell the story of his life up to this point, his age is important to the novel's genre and themes....

Latest answer posted November 18, 2019 3:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

Why does the narrator of "Invisible Man" wish to attend the downtown strategy meeting?

The narrator has worked his way up in the Brotherhood to where he is used to being included and "in the loop". When the Brotherhood begins to lose its grip on the community and brothers...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2008 2:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

Invisible Man

What is the significance of the woman's experience with the narrator in chapter 19 of Invisible Man?

What happens in this chapter is that the narrator is invited by a female member of his audience to her apartment to discuss "ideology." It's not clear what we're meant to take away from his...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2020 1:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Showing 51-100 of 102