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Invisible Man

Invisible Man


by Ralph Ellison


Character Analysis

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 mistaking him for this Rinehart character. (We wish it were that easy to hide from our exes.) To make matters even more interesting, Rinehart seems to shape-shift faster than Mystique from X-Men. The narrator is mistaken for a pimp, a gambler, a reverend, a lover, and a friend. The figure of Rinehart therefore pretty cleanly embodies the messy fluidity of identity.