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Invisible Man

Invisible Man

  

by Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man Characters

Meet the Cast

Narrator

Identity CrisisThroughout the course of the novel, our nameless narrator is mistaken for a reverend, a pimp, a gambler, a fink, a unionist, a Southern Negro, a New York Negro, a rapist, a lover, a...

Dr. Bledsoe

Dr. Bledsoe is the president of the narrator's college, and the narrator looks up to him until he turns out to be a big fat phony. While Dr. Bledsoe preaches a doctrine of hard work and humility as...

Mr. Norton

This dude is richy rich and whitey white. He also helped found the narrator's college. Mr. Norton is described by the narrator as a "symbol of the Great Traditions." And, although he is convinced o...

Brother Jack

Brother Jack, our main contact with the Brotherhood is a pretty mysterious character. A white dude, he easily enters the narrator's life and offers him a ton of opportunities off the bat: money, a...

Brother Tod Clifton

When we meet Brother Tod Clifton, he at first seems like a possible rival for the narrator—he's young, bright, good-looking, and has been working for the Brotherhood for three years. It becomes c...

Ras the Exhorter

Ras the Destroyer (née Exhorter) is a "mahn" (as he puts it) from the West Indies. He is a black nationalist and strongly opposed to Brotherhood activities. He also—despite being a controversial...

Sybil

Sybil has basically one scene in the entire novel, but boy, is it intense. Drunken Sybil wants to be raped by a black man, and it somehow comes across as touchingly vulnerable. Only a virtuoso like...

Trueblood

Nope, this guy has nothing to do with the campy HBO show about hawt vampires, fairies, were-panthers, and shape-shifters. Except, of course, that he shows up in a novel that basically interrogates...

Rev. Barbee

Reverend Barbee is a religious man from Chicago who details the Founder and Dr. Bledsoe's quests to found the college. He gives an incredibly impassioned speech that leaves the narrator feeling lik...

Emerson

The son of a wealthy white man, Emerson is the only white guy in the novel who seems to genuinely care about racial progress and helping the narrator. And let's not forget his attempts to have a fr...

Mary Rambo

A kind and motherly woman who sees plenty of potential for the narrator to contribute to racial progress, her only flaw (as far as the narrator is concerned) is that she talks too much. She takes t...

Rinehart

Okay: the real Rinehart never actually appears in the novel. But then again, he doesn't need to.After the narrator dons some colored glasses and a hat, just about everyone in Harlem begins mistakin...

Brother Hambro

In Chapter 23, we finally meet the man responsible for the narrator's training. Brother Hambro turns out to be a tall lawyer who (no surprise here) thinks in incredibly macroscopic terms. He's the...
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