Invisible Man Chapter 16 Questions and Answers

Ralph Ellison

Chapter 16 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How long does Brother Jack say they will wait before entering the main hall?

2. How did the narrator hear about the boxer and his blindness?

3. Of what does Brother Jack remind the narrator?

4. What members of the audience make the narrator apprehensive?

5. How does the narrator describe Brother Jack as a speaker?

6. What makes the narrator feel that he can begin his speech on a good footing?

7. How does the crowd respond when the narrator’s speech is over?

8. What do the Brothers (led by Brother Wrestrum) claim they have that the narrator does not have?

9. What conclusion do the Brothers reach regarding the narrator’s future as a speaker for the Brotherhood?

10. What is Brother Jacks’s reaction to what the Brothers say about the narrator’s speech?

Answers
1. Brother Jack says they will stay out of the main hall until the crowd has reached the height of their impatience.

2. The narrator’s father had told the narrator about the boxer and his blindness.

3. The narrator realizes that Brother Jack reminds him of Master, a bulldog the narrator knew when he was a child.

4. The policemen in the audience make the narrator apprehensive, until Brother Jack tells him that they are there to protect the speakers.

5. The narrator describes Brother Jack as “dignified and benign, like a bemused father listening to the performances of his children.”

6. The narrator feels he can begin his speech on firm footing when the audience responds to him. First the crowd is patient with him with the microphone, and then someone encourages him. The narrator feels he has made a contact.

7. The narrator describes the audience’s reaction as being “like a clap of thunder,” with the crowd shouting, cheering, and whistling.

8. The Brothers (led by Brother Wrestrum) claim they have a scientific approach to society, which the narrator lacks. This is what made his speech so “damaging.”

9. Regarding his future as a speaker for the Brotherhood, the Brothers conclude that the narrator must study under Brother Hambro, who will train the narrator to speak more appropriately.

10. Brother Jack responds first with angry sarcasm to the reactions of the other Brothers. Soon afterward, he is more accepting of their position.