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 Emancipation Proclamation, given in 1863, racial inequalities still abounded.
The protagonist of The Invisible Man is a character who learns to find power in his invisibility. He explains his invisibility at the start of the novel:
I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; . . . I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. . . . Nor is my invisibility exactly a matter of a bio-chemical accident to my epidermis. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. . . . I am not complaining, nor am I protesting either. It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen,...
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