From the very beginning of the prologue of the Invisible Man, there is a strange dichotomy presented in that, as both the protagonist and first person point of view character, he is the center of our attention as readers, yet within the world of the novel the complete lack of attention people give him renders him effectively invisible, since “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me” (pg 3). This reaches the point that “you doubt if you really exist. You wonder whether you aren’t simply a phantom in other people’s minds” (pg 4). He doesn’t cease to exist when he “becomes” invisible, he can still attack the man on the street or listen to the music of other invisible people, yet this lack of attention or deliberate acts of ignorance makes him doubt his own personhood. When he’s first called invisible it’s because he’s “learned to repress not only his emotions but his humanity. He’s invisible, a walking personification of the Negative” (pg 94). From this view of invisibility, if someone does not recognize your personhood you start lose your personhood. I find this point of view problematic that from this perspective a person is defined by the perceptions of other people and can even become invisible if you are someone deemed by society to not be worth paying attention to, but it is an interesting argument.
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