Invisible Man Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Ralph Ellison

Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How do the adults respond to the grandfather’s deathbed speech?

2. Where does the battle royal take place?

3. What kinds of men does the narrator see in the audience?

4. What does the blond woman have tattooed on her belly?

5. How is the boxing match made more entertaining for the audience?

6. How does the narrator try to appease Tatlock when the two are boxing?

7. How do the whites first try to pay the young men for their boxing?

8. Are the coins real?

9. What happens when the narrator accepts the briefcase presented to him?

10. Who is in the dream the narrator has at the end of the chapter?

Answers
1. When the grandfather spoke his dying words, the adults around his deathbed rushed the young children from the room, drew the shades, and lowered the flames on the oil lamps. They were frightened and embarrassed.

2. The battle royal takes place in the ballroom of a large hotel.

3. The narrator sees the town’s leading bankers, lawyers, judges, doctors, teachers, and even a pastor in the audience.

4. The blond woman has an American flag tattooed on her belly.

5. The audience makes the boxing match more entertaining by blindfolding the boxers.

6. The narrator tries to appease Tatlock by offering to split the prize money with him. This tactic does not work.

7. When the white men first offer “gold coins” to the boxers, they drop them on a piece of rug. The rug carries electrical current, and all of the boys receive shocks.

8. No, the coins are not real. They turn out to be brass tokens, advertisements for a kind of automobile.

9. When the narrator accepts the briefcase, a liquid rope of blood and saliva leaves his mouth, dripping on the new leather.

10. The narrator’s grandfather is in the dream at the end of the chapter, laughing at the narrator.