Study Guide

Rev. Barbee in Invisible Man

By Ralph Ellison

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 like a traitor for jeopardizing the school. After his speech, we learn that Rev. Barbee is actually blind. For a novel that prizes sight and true vision, that's pretty dang problematic (to say the least). His physical inability to see throws his whole speech into question, especially when we learn that Dr. Bledsoe is a big phony.

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