Analysis of Dr. Bledsoe

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Invisible Man Essay

3) Select a character from the novel who is a villain, and then analyze the nature of the character’s villainy and show how it enhances the meaning of the work.

In the novel, The Invisible Man, there are many characters that go against the Invisible Man and try to keep him from succeeding. The definition of a Villain is: A wicked or evil person; a scoundrel; A dramatic or fictional character who is typically at odds with the hero. Since the Invisible Man is the protagonist of the novel, Dr. Bledsoe would fit as a villain towards him.

Dr. Bledsoe is the president of the IM’s college, and the IM looks up to him until he turns out to be a big phony. While Dr. Bledsoe preaches a doctrine of hard work and humility as the key to black advancement, he retains his power as president of the college by "playing the nigger" – he scrapes, bows, and all the while deceives the powerful white men upon whose patronage his power depends. Thus Dr. Bledsoe's supposed commitment to his race is a sham; at one point he declares that he would see every black man in the country lynched before he would give up his position of authority. What makes Dr. Bledsoe such an influential villain is that the protagonist (IM) truly did trust in him and look up to him as a role model. Bledsoe had the IM’s fate in his hands. One of the most important things to the IM was to go to college and become successful, but Bledsoe had the power to take all of that away.

Bledsoe has three faces: one he shows to important whites, another he exhibits officially to the students of the college, and the private and true side he reveals to the IM. When the IM sees Bledsoe's true nature, he soon comes to realize the corruption and malevolent methods that Dr. Bledsoe utilizes. This is the IM's first encounter with such deep-seated corruption. The IM's perception is that his world is at its deepest levels corrupted by certain varieties of radical dishonesty and manipulation. He sees...
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