Invisible Man

One demented veteran thinks Norton is Thomas Jefferson, his grandfather. What facts about Thomas Jefferson might Ellison have had in mind? What is the significance of alluding to Thomas Jefferson at this particular moment in the story?

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There is speculation that Thomas Jefferson and his black mistress, Sally Heming, who had offspring from the relationship. The veteran is alluding to this when he sees Norton. This brings out the idea that racist whites in the past had relationships with their slaves.