CJ Meadows Invisible Man Essay

Topics: Betrayal, Invisible Man, Black people Pages: 2 (368 words) Published: December 4, 2014
Cj Meadows
24/11/2014
5th Period
Works of literature often depict acts of betrayal. Friends and even family betray a protagonist; main characters may likewise be guilty of treachery, or may betray their own values. Select a novel or play that includes such acts of betrayal. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze the nature of the betrayal and show how it contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the narrator is betrayed multiple times by several different people. These betrayals cause the narrator to lose his naivety and shatter his innocence.
The first time the narrator is betrayed is when he goes to give his speech and gets forced to fight in the battle royal. It shows that the white people don't care if he wants to give a speech and all they see is the colour of his skin. But since he's such a shining example of following their rules and never questions anything that they say to him or do, they award him with a nice briefcase, and more importantly, a scholarship to a prestigious black college.

The second instance of betrayal that the narrator faces is when Dr. Bledsoe kicks him out of the college after the narrator looked up to and aspired to be just like him. Bledsoe betrays him even further when the narrator finds out what's in the letters of recommendation to jobs in the city. This betrayal especially stings after the narrator really looked up to Bledsoe and wanted to be just like him, and an innocent mistake that really wasn't a mistake causes Bledsoe to destroy everything the narrator has worked for.

Perhaps the most important betrayal, however, was himself. By joining and blindly following the Brotherhood, the narrator betrays himself and his own values. When the narrator truly realizes what he's done as a puppet for the Brotherhood (nothing), he attempts to do something and they do not help him, instead moving away from the plight of the black people and further towards...
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