Why does young Mr. Emerson show Invisible Man the contents of the letters from Dr. Bledsoe? Why does Invisible Man distrust his offers of friendship?

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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 is trying to hurt the narrator, not help him. Mr. Emerson is teaching a valuable lesson not to blindly trust others, even those who claim to be helping. The narrator, at this point, is naive enough to believe that Dr. Bledsoe can forget about his actions and cares about him to send him away before continuing his studies. The interaction with Mr. Emerson is a wake-up call to the harsh reality of society.

The narrator is wary of Mr. Emerson's overtures of friendship because he had been raised to mistrust white society. Time and again he has been taken advantage of, so he exercises caution here. Ironically, he has not been taught to mistrust black society, and he is taken aback at the thought that Dr. Bledsoe could possibly do anything to harm him. Learning of Bledsoe's treachery is a first step...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 689 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on October 29, 2019
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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on October 29, 2019
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