What are the textual clues in "Invisible Man" that hint at the narrator's 'rebirth' after the electroshock therapy?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles


The man awakes from the electroshock therapy the same way a baby is born: Does not know where he is, does not recall nor know his name, hears the sounds of a moaning woman in pain echoing in the back (which are nothing but machines), is wiped out of his identity, his job at the plant, and everything he used to be- the world as he knew it disappeared and now they (the men who performed the therapy) are like bringing him into the world again, only he is a "new person"

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

With the electroshock therapy, the narrator experiences 'rebirth' in Invisible Man.Ellison placed a few "clues" in the text to demonstrate. Identify a few of these clues and explain what they mean.

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 deal with the man. When the treatment is given, I.M. says that he has changed into a new man "who does not even know his name". There is however, more symbolism involved which you can find out in this link.





See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on