Dr. Blodsoe From Invisible Man [character Analysis

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In Ellison's novel, Invisible Man, the character of Dr. Bledsoe plays an important role in helping the narrator realize the world of disillusionment in which he lives. Dr. Bledsoe proves himself to be master of masks; able to hid his true intentions from both Whites and Blacks. Thirsty for power, Bledsoe does whatever it takes to whomever ever he can, regardless of their race. Originally regarding him as an idol, the narrator eventually learns that the humble Dr. Bledsoe was in reality a manipulator, controlling and using people to his advantage. Seeing this, the Invisible Man slowly begins to realize the reality of the world in which he lives.

Dr. Bledsoe's acts of humility and speeches of humbleness are all attempts to disguise his true aim. The mask he wears makes an actual influence within the white dominated society that he lives and serves as a way to gain power, as well as preserve what he already has. Being the president of the Negro College, he is often found flattering white men and convincing them that Blacks at his school are all peaceful and good-natured, all in attempt to get money from them. His 'concern' for the college's image is once again a mask in which he uses to hide his true motives. Further enhancing Bledsoe's character, he claims that he has 'played the nigger' long enough to earn him all the power he has now, and because of this he refuses to let the naïve narrator reveal his real motives. This reveals that all his actions are simply attempts to façade his greatest fear of losing all his power. He knows that if his dishonesty were revealed, he would be stripped of both his image and power. Because of this, he must continuously wear his mask and has forever burdened his life.

The impact that Dr. Bledsoe has on the narrator is crucial in his gradual realization of reality. While the narrator explains that he drove Mr. Norton to the slave quarters only by orders, Bledsoe exclaims, "Damn what he wants! We take these white folks where we

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