Invisible Man

How is repetition used to express the change the narrator feels in his identity in Invisible Man

Chapter 16

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It is not a coincidence that for the second time in the book the narrator is asked to make a speech in an arena which also doubles as a boxing ring of sorts. Though not as humiliating an experience as the battle royal, the speech he must give for the Brotherhood has him wait until the end of the night before he speaks and has an element of failure directly connected with it.


When the narrator begins to notice his change in identity, he uses the word 'new' multiple times in the same paragraph. The word 'new' refers to this change of his, the transformation from no one to someone, invisible to visible (in a sense). These are the excerpts from page 335 in my book, and I've bolded each instance of 'new'.

"This was a new phase, I realized, a new beginning..."

"And yet they were somehow new. The new suit impaired a newness to me. It was the clothes and the new name and the circumstances. It was a newness too subtle to put into thought, but there it was. I was becoming someone else."


"Invisible Man" - Ralph Ellison