In the prologue and opening scenes of Invisible Man, I was struck by the narrator’s isolation, or his lack of relationships to other characters. In particular, the narrator’s awareness of and ostensible satisfaction with this isolation seemed distinctive. As the narrator discusses his invisibility and goes on to describe his “warm hole,” he posits himself as existing independently from regular human interaction. Until he later describes his grandfather, he does not highlight relationships to a family or community as primary parts of his sense of self. Instead, he opens by positing his lack interaction with others as essential to his existence, claiming, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me” (3), but assuring the reader that being invisible has advantages. By describing himself as invisible, emphasizing his solitary life in what he calls a “hole,” and neglecting to describe his relationships to other characters in the opening of the novel, the narrator highlights his isolation as an important aspect of his character.
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