Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man opens with a prologu

e 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.

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