To begin, the prologue discloses the main character and narrator as, “l am the Invisible Man. “(Prologue pig. 3) The diction of the word “invisible” and not using a proper noun to describe him as person symbolizes that he is an individual not able to be seen or known for he does not have a proper name, for example Ralph, to be recognized. The Invisible Man, continues to say that, “l am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and might even be said to possess a mind. ” (Prologue pig. ) The Invisible Man, although calls himself invisible, is not entire “invisible. In fact, he is perfectly visible to the human eye. He is referring to his invisibility to “a matter of the construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality. ” (Prologue, pig. 3) Although he is physically there, his invisibility comes from extrinsic factors disregarding him as an individual with hopes and dreams. Instead, his skin color has stained others to perceive him only as an African American. Although not physically invisible, e emotionally feels as if he is invisible.
Continuing with the prologue, the Invisible Man recounts his altercation that led to a physical fight. He accidentally bumped into a man, “he was a tall blonde man, and as my face came close to his he looked insolently out of his blue eye and cursed me. ” (Prologue pig. 4) upon bumping into the man, it is known that he is a white male. As the Invisible Man comes closer to the white male’s face, the white male realizes that the Invisible Man is an African American and retorts back using hostile words. The interaction between the woo different colored races shows how one perceives the other.
The white male, a Caucasian, thinks he is superior cursed at the Invisible Man after bumping into one another. Feeling wronged, the Invisible Man disregarded his race, demanded an apology, After the incident, and seeing the, “Daily News, beneath the caption stating that he had been mugged. Poor fool, poor blind fool, I thought with sincere compassion, mugged by an invisible man. ” (Prologue pig. 5) The newspaper symbolizes how the majority of the population wrongfully view African Americans. In the narrator’s case, it was to a mugging, but a wrongfully misunderstood situation between the two males.
By reading the newspaper, the Invisible realizes that because Of his race, that IS how society was always view him as. As the story advances, the history and identity of the Invisible Man unfolds. The Invisible Man is an intelligent young man. He, valedictorian of his class, was invited to give a speech to the wealthy white men. Not only was he invited to give a speech but to partake in an event called the Battle Royal. Upon entering the Battle Royal, the Invisible Man believed he was invited for is academic achievements.
His academic achievements is whom he defines himself because his education is what got him noticed by the white men. Being noticed would grant him acceptance in which he yearns for. Contrary to what he yearned for, he was predetermined by the color of his skin. He was placed in a derogatory form of entertainment known as Battle Royal. For someone who worked hard for his level of education and put into a shameful form of entertainment causes a harm to his emotional state of identity. The white men further negates his education by laughing and mocking him during is speech.
The continuation of the white men’s laughter diminishes his personal self. From this experience, although he was recognized for his academic abilities, he was predetermined by the color of his skin marking his physical identity, but his individual self remains hidden. Another experience that led him to recognized himself as “invisible” is during his college years. The Invisible Man is a driver to a wealthy, white man named Mr… Norton around campus. In the beginning, the Invisible Man Leeds Mr… Norton to Truelove’s house.
They both hear the sickening story of Troubled, his daughter, and wife from Troubled himself. Mr… Norton, unable to handle to nature of the story gets sick. To help relieve the situation, they go to a tavern where Mr… Norton passes out. This is a defining moment for the Invisible Man because a veteran, who is a doctor, helps Mr… Norton, but tells the Invisible Man, “To you he is a mark on the scorecard of your achievement, a thing and not a man, a child, or even less – a black amorphous thing. ” (pig. 95) The conversation with Troubled led the two men to the aver.