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Invisible Man

Invisible Man

by Ralph Ellison

Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"I dearly loved my master, son," she said.

"You should have hated him," I said.

"He gave me several sons," she said, "and because I loved my sons I learned to love their father though I hated him too."

"I too have become acquainted with ambivalence," I said. "That's why I'm here."
(Prologue.46 – Prologue.49)

This dream sequence from the Prologue illustrates how love and hate are tightly bound.

Quote #2

"Freedom," I said. "Maybe freedom lies in hating."

"Naw, son, it's in loving. I loved him and give him the poison and he withered away like a frost-bit apple. Them boys woulda tore him to pieces with they homemade knives."
(Prologue.61-2)

The old lady in the dream sequence says that she was free enough to kill someone she loved, suggesting that freedom has more to do with love than hate.

Quote #3

I returned the miniature, wondering what in the world had made him open his heart to me. That was something I never did; it was dangerous. First, it was dangerous if you felt like that about anything, because then you'd never get it or something or someone would take it away from you; then it was dangerous because nobody would understand you and they'd only laugh and think you were crazy. (2.65)

The narrator does not express love for anything because it endangers the very thing he cares about.

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