The Invisible Man

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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The Invisible Man The story The Invisible Man can be traced by a number of items to depict the narrators' progress and/or realization of his place in life, and society. He is and always has been invisible despite his constant struggle to make something of himself, and to be seen. Not only does he desire to be seen, he yearns to become an icon of his people, and their growing position in society as Booker T. Washington has often been perceived. One such item used to do this is his briefcase, which he possesses throughout the entirety of the book, and contributes strongly to his outcome and realization that he is invisible regardless of what he does or what happens to him. He is unseen, and mindlessly interacted with and used to his own demise.

The briefcase is first seen as a symbol of the narrators' ambitions, aspirations, achievements at the time, and those he expects to come.

He receives the briefcase as a prize for his high achievements after he is humiliated in a royal rumble and speaks with a bloody face to a crowd of rich and powerful white gentlemen. The case can be considered a means of humbling him to the white people, but he accepts it with anticipation of what is to come. His principle tells him: "take this prize and keep it well. Consider it a badge of office. Prize it. Keep developing as you are and someday it will be filled with important papers that will help shape the destiny of your people." At this point of uplifting, his principles of what a black man should behave like in regards to a white man are reinforced. He has taken their humiliation, and been rewarded because of it. What he misses is the big picture;...