Why do you think the narrator dreams about his grandfather after the fight? What do you think his dream means?

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In Ellison's Invisible Man, the grandfather is a particularly ambiguous but important peripheral character. The narrator (the invisible man) is obviously influenced by his grandfather, especially by the man's final words while he was on his deathbed, but the narrator struggles to decipher his grandfather's meaning. 

The grandfather is first described as "a quiet old man who never made any trouble" (16), and the narrator has trouble negotiating this established image of the man with his emphatic advice to the narrator that he should "overcome 'em with yeses, undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death and destruction, let 'em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open" (16). While the grandfather's advice sounds, at first, meek and conciliatory, his phrasing and imagery become increasingly violent over the course of this sentence. This ambiguity leaves the narrator confused, unsure what "desirable conduct" (17) he should adopt. The narrator wants to go to college, and he writes a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 667 words.)

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