Invisible Man

The “battle royal” where the black boys are made to fight with each other symbolizes
the backwardness of southern blacks as compared with Northern blacks
The narrator gets his identity in the first quarter of the novel by following the model of
the founder and Dr. Bledsoe
Mr. Norton’s heart attack is brought on by
the shock of Jim Trueblood’s story
The veteran berates, or attacks, the narrator’s
In light of the content of his speech, Reverend Barbee’s blindness is an example of
The narrator is expelled from college because he
exposed aspects of black life Dr. Bledsoe wanted to keep hidden
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The letters of recommendation that Dr. Bledsoe gives to the narrator really say
“Keep this ******-Boy Running”
The narrator’s encounter on the street with Peter Wheatstraw
reminds him that his southern folk heritage is part of his identity
The narrator’s experience at Liberty Paints suggests that
black labor was the foundation for America’s industrial strength
Mary Rambo’s iron minstrel bank, which the narrator breaks, symbolizes
the Southern ways he can’t escape
The Brotherhood represents
The Communist party
Brother Jack’s character is symbolized by his
glass eye
The member of the Brotherhood most faithful to the narrator and his work in Harlem is
Brother Tarp
The Brotherhood is opposed to the narrator’s emotional and personal style of speaking because
it does not reflect their scientific, rational philosophy
Ras the Exhorter’s ultimate goal is to
keep blacks and whites totally separate
Ras the Exhorter argues that Tod Clifton and the narrator have
betrayed their race by allying themselves with whites
The dancing Sambo dolls being sold by Tod Clifton symbolize
black people’s traditional subservience to white people
The death of Tod Clifton is
in part the result of Tod’s own despair and disillusion
The identity of Rinehart
allows the narrator to survive in a world of chaos and confusion
The narrator hopes to use Sybil
as a spy on the Brotherhood
The turning point at the center of the novel is the narrator’
witnessing of an eviction of two old people
The narrator flees into a deserted coal cellar where he
tries to think through the things in his life that got him there
The decision of the narrator to leave his cave at the end of the novel symbolizes
the end of contemplation and the beginning of action
The character of the protagonist is such that he might be described as a
naïve narrator
Ellison’s style in the novel
moves from realism to expressionism to surrealism
food that IM associated with childhood poverty
food that IM associated with freedom
food IM wanted to see Bledsoe eating
food IM resisted as “an act of discipline,” showing his experience
pork chops
food IM had never heard of or tried
wants to be Huck Finn
Young Emerson
wants to be the new Booker T. Washington
Invisible Man
is called a Brutus, or traitor to the Brotherhood
Tod Clifton
wins the “Battle Royale”
is wounded in the jaw
Ras the Exhorter
refused to laugh at the clowns
IM’s grandfather
freed slave, with manumission papers
Primus Provo
IM’s college professor
loses his false teeth
nicknamed “Old Bucket-head”
advises IM to read Emerson
advises IM to be “his own father”
offers to teach IM “some good bad habits”
Peter Wheatsraw
warns IM about going too fast in the Brotherhood
Brother Jack
gives IM his good luck “charm”
Brother Tarp
bar frequented by the Brotherhood
El Toro
Rinehart’s church
Holy Way Station
Harlem hotel for young men “on the way up”
Men’s House
men’s college dormitory
Rabb Hall
gay nightclub
Club Calamus
IM’s graduation gift after the smoker
clothing worn by the “fraternity of hipsters”
Zoot Suit
clothing IM associated with contempt and failure
hanging from the trees during the riot
IM uses to assume Rinehart’s identity
poster that Brother Tarp gives IM
Frederic Douglass
painting in apartment where IM gets seduced
Renior nude
painting in Brotherhood bar
poster featuring Tod Clifton
associated with the Founder’s grave
A single rose
“Son, after I’m gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I have never told you, but our life is a war….Live with your head in the lion’s mouth.”
“Bring up the shines, gentlemen! Bring up the little shines!”
“I had a feeling that your people were somehow connected with my destiny. That what happened to you was connected with what would happen to me…”
“You have the build,” he said, looking me up and down. “You’d probably make an excellent runner, a sprinter.”
Young Emerson
“I remembered the start of the train, how it seemed to groan as it started up the steep grade into the mountain…When the train reached the summit of the mountain, he was no longer with us.”
Homer Barbee
“I was just like a jaybird that the yellow jackets done stung ’til he’s paralyzed – but still alive in his eyes and he’s watchin’ ’em sting his body to death.”
“To you he is a mark on the score-card of your achievement, a thing and not a man; a child, or even less – a black amorphous thing. And you, for all your power, are not a man to him, but a god, a force.”
“Boy, you are a fool …Your white folk didn’t teach you anything and your mother-wit has left you cold.”
“I’m a seventh son of a seventh son bawn with a caul over both eyes and raised on black catbones highjohn the conqueror and greasy greens -“
“They got all this machinery, but that ain’t everything; we the machines inside the machine .”
“They can come in you home and do what thewy want to you. Just come stomping and jerk your life up by the roots! But this here’s the last straw. They ain’t going to bother with my Bible!”
Mrs. Provo
“It’s you young folks what’s going to make the changes. Y’all’s the ones. You got to lead and you got to fight and move us all up a little higher.”
Mary Rambo
“You can do it. It’ll be easy for you, beautiful. Threaten to kill me if I don’t give in. You know, talk rough to me, beautiful.”
“Nonsense, they chew them up and spit them out. Their leaders are made, not born. Then they’re destrpyed. Tell me, where did you find this young hero of the people?”
“No one has told you, Brother, that at times you have tom-toms beating in your voice?”
Hurbert’s Wife