I approached this novel thinking about how fate, destiny, or even social progress can shape a character by orienting them towards the future, but am now considering the role of hindsight in the crafting of a fictional character. Not only is this because the action of the novel from prologue to epilogue is told in hindsight, but because there is a distinct shift in the epilogue where it seems that the narrative exercise of retelling his origins has given the Invisible Man a certain comfort with his past and acceptance of the future’s unpredictability. The Invisible Man claims he does not know whether coming to understand his status as such places him “in the rear or in the avant-garde” (572), and goes on to honestly endorse the merits and dangers of self-reflection. I think it’s fair to say that Ellison is demonstrating the interconnectedness of past an present in the making of one’s self; indeed the past is all we have to go on when looking toward the future, thus imagining one’s future, fate, or destiny always has an element of pastness in it. The Invisible Man has clarified his character to us and to himself (an example of Todorov’s parallel interpretation process)  by showing us his past and it reorients him towards the future: “I carried my sickness and though for a long time I tried to place it in the outside world, the attempt to write it down shows me that at least half of it lay within me” (575).