Authentic Aspects Revealed

Throughout the twenty five chapters one can see that the narrator has not been himself or lived his own life. Hence, he thought of himself as the invisible man. Since the beginning of the novel he reveals that he is constantly being judged and called something other than what he is; which is the reason why the narrator gets into a fight with a man earlier in the prologue. We continue to see how the narrator tries to live his life based on what others want. One can see the narrator’s effort to satisfy others through his college tour he gives to an unwanted guest, that leads to his expulsion from school. In addition, the narrator agrees to take  the role of the speaker for Brotherhood. This role requires the narrator to make speeches for the Brotherhood community. It is evident that the narrator lives trying to please others, and has not yet found his own identity.

Towards the end of the novel however, the narrator is able to find his selfhood. He is no longer apart of the college, or Brotherhood community, and finally has the opportunity to make decisions on his own. The narrator’s first decision is to remain invisible in an underground hole. The narrator continues to be invisible because no one can see him, as he remains isolated from the outside world. Although the narrator has made the decision to stay underground, the most memorable part of this scene is his epiphany that one belief should not dominate all aspects of society. The narrator realizes that one belief does not make up a truthful society.  Instead, there should be a variety of beliefs, and people should be entitled to their own opinion. This concept can be compared to Henry James’s depiction of authenticity, which is illustrated through the character of the artist in his short story “The Real Thing.” Similar to the artist’s ideology, “the real thing” is one that could carry out diverse parts. The artist mentions: “…the thing in the world I most hated was the danger of being ridden by a type” (James, 200). A society which consist of multiple roles, is what the narrator has come to realize and desire.

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One Response to Authentic Aspects Revealed

  1. Dominique says:

    “Similar to the artist’s ideology, “the real thing” is one that could carry out diverse parts. The artist mentions: “…the thing in the world I most hated was the danger of being ridden by a type” (James, 200).”

    Excellent connection, Allison.

    4/4

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