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Indivisible Individuality

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Indivisible Individuality

In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the needs ideas, and duty of the individual are proven to be more significant than that of the group, so one's own identity is preserved. Each individual, both black and white, has both a responsibility to their community and an obligation in retaining their own personality as an individual. The main character, the Narrator, represents this himself in never telling the reader his actual name, and how he had temporarily lost his sense of individuality (however deems himself "ready" to come back by the end of the book). He is continually tested throughout the novel as he struggles to maintain the division between his own self and that of the needs the Brotherhood recurrently demand. From the beginning of the novel, the Narrator struggles with the beliefs taught by his grandfather, social expectations, and what he personally believes, which over the course of his journey, begin to change shape through his many experiences. This struggle is an underlying cause for many of the actions he will take, such as quickly joining the Brotherhood when the chance arises in an attempt to have his voice heard. As stated by Dykema-VanderArk, "Achieving that "realization" requires the narrator to come to terms with his personal history and with his place in the larger history of America." ("Overview of Invisible Man" 1). Every action he takes is a result of a recurring event, such as his overall decline in trust and confusion in the very nature of people when he finds that Dr. Bledsoe, the President of the college, actually sabotaged his attempt at finding a job. This loss of trust, as stated by Anthony M., "The Narrator is taken in by Bledsoe's seeming that he adopts him as a model: "he was the example of everything I hoped to be: Influential with wealthy men all over the country, consulting in matters concerning...

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