Invisible Man Chapter 5 Questions and Answers

Ralph Ellison

Chapter 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What signal tells the narrator that it is time to go to the chapel?

2. What is Dr. Bledsoe wearing to the chapel on this evening?

3. What is Dr. Bledsoe able to do that fascinated the narrator?

4. To whom does Dr. Bledsoe give a secret signal?

5. How does the narrator describe the speaker of the sermon?

6. What catastrophe does the speaker say almost ended Dr. Bledsoe’s life?

7. Who tells the narrator the speaker’s name?

8. In what northern city does the Reverend Barbee preach?

9. What does the narrator notice about the Reverend Barbee at the end of his sermon?

10. Does the narrator stay to hear the other speakers?

Answers
1. The sound of the vesper bells is the signal that tells the narrator that it is time to go to the chapel.

2. Dr. Bledsoe is wearing striped trousers, a swallow-tail coat with fancy black-braided lapels, and an ascot tie.

3. The narrator is fascinated by the way that Dr. Bledsoe touches the white visitors, shaking their hands or putting his hand on their arms.

4. Dr. Bledsoe gives a secret signal to the organist.

5. The narrator describes the speaker of the sermon as “a man of striking ugliness; fat, with a bullet-head set on a short neck.”

6. The speaker says that an “insane cousin” splashed the infant Dr. Bledsoe with lye, and that he lay in a coma for nine days before miraculously coming out of it.

7. A fellow student tells the narrator, in an annoyed, outraged manner, that the speaker is the Reverend Homer A. Barbee.

8. The Reverend Barbee preaches in Chicago.

9. At the end of Reverend Barbee’s sermon, the narrator learns that the reverend is blind.

10. No, the narrator does not stay to hear the other speakers, but the service is over immediately after he leaves the chapel.