Invisible Man

what makes Ellison's narrator invisible

What makes the narrator of the book invisible

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The narrator describes himself as invisible because he believes the world to be filled with blind men who cannot see him for who he is. To be invisible means the narrator has a freedom and the power to move unchecked because he can't be seen. The people who don't or won't see him are blind, and therefore he is in turn invisible. At the end of the novel, out narrator decides to come back into the light in order to make a 'visible' difference in society.

The narrator belives that he is invisible because of the blindness of those around him. All his life, people have not been seeing the "real him" . . . only what they want to see. When the narrator was in college, Mr. Norton and Dr. Bledsoe only "used" him for their own devises. When they found that the could not controll him any longer, they thought of him as a threat, and forced him to leave. During a service at the college, the narrator meets Reverend Barbee, who is both mentally and physically blind. Mr. Norton, Dr. Bledsoe, and Rv. Barbee all wish only to keep their stance of position, are blind to others around them, and threatened by those who are different. When the narrator tried to get a job, his boss, Brockway, thought of him as a threat as well.

Although people can see the narrator physically, they are not seeing him for who he truly is. Because of this fact, the narrator is Invisible.


Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison