Invisible Man: Plot Summary


Ralph Ellison\'s Invisible Man opens with a prologue describing the main
character in time after the begining of the body of the book. In the prologue,
Ellison tells of the main characters invisibility. It is not a physical
invisiblity, but rther he is not recognised, and therefore persieved, by the
world at large. This is coupled with the fact that he is constantly trying to
be someone else, other than himself, creates for his a complete loss of
identity, and he becomes a man without a soul.

The story begins with the main character being forced to partisipate in
an archaic and animalistic free-for-all in order for him to be allowed to give
his speach that will determine wheather he will be accepted to the \'college\'.
He is accepted and goes through two of his years at the college uneventfully.
He is ejected from the school during his junior year when the trustee who ws in
his care while visiting the school fell ill and is taken to a local bar to get
some alchohol. He is given seven letter of what he suposes to be recomendation
to give to people in New York. He moves to Harlem and delivers the letters.
He finds out that these letters were not recomenation but rather advisments
against hiring him. The seventh reciever of a letter gives him a job in a
paint factory. He does not derform well there and evetually causes he own
dismissal by ignoring hes work and getting knoked out by an explosion that is
his fault. He joins a black power group called The Brotherhood and is sent out
to spread the word of the group. He meets a man named Clfton, his first real
freind, and clifon is shot by a police officer. He speaks at Clifton\'s
funeral and the Brotherhood does not like what he says. he befriens a middle
aged white woman whao flirs with him a good bit. one night while with her is
is asked to come to Harlem and come a riot that is occering. A rival of the
Brotherhood, Ras the Exhorter, sees him there and and starts chasing him.
While in the subway he, quite literally, runs into Mr. Norton, the trustee from
the college that had the fainting spell. When he asks Mr. Norton if he
remembers him Mr. Norton says no. Then he begins lghing histerically at Mr.
Norton. The book ends with hi realization that he is not his own man and
completely invisble to all.

Category: English