The narrator does not understand the fact that “Man is ambiguous” (Bloom 113), that man is looked at differently from different perspectives, but how a man is seen will not alter the person he is.
The same person in different states of identities will experience quite a deviation in the way he or she is treated.
” (Ellison 386) This question puzzled the invisible man, the unidentified, anonymous narrator of Ralph Ellison’s acclaimed novel Invisible Man.
Throughout the story, the narrator embarks on a mental and physical journey to seek what the narrator believes is “true identity,” a belief quite mistaken, for he, although unaware of it, had already been inhabiting true identities all along.
If a person is stranded on an island, what use will it be to have a name?
The narrator thought he “was becoming someone else”(Ellison 328) when he acquired his new Brotherhood name, but a name change is simply a prescription for an identity change in the same human being.The narrator thinks the many identities he possesses does not reflect himself, but he fails to recognize that identity is simply a mirror that reflects the surrounding and the person who looks into it.It is only in this reflection of the immediate surrounding can the viewers relate the narrator’s identity to.Because to the old fellow, who the narrator is as a person is uninterested.What he is as an object, and what that object’s relationship is to Lucius Brockway’s engine room is important.Lucius Brockway, an old operator of the paint factory, saw the narrator only as an existence threatening his job, despite that the narrator is sent there to merely assist him.Brockway repeatedly question the narrator of his purpose there and his mechanical credentials but never even bother to inquire his name.He must feel that he “can have no dignity if his status is not special, if he is not essentially different”(Bloom 193), therefore he joined Brotherhood in order to distinguish himself, and to identify himself.He gets what he wants, recognition and fame, but it is not right he thought, for he is recognized only for his false identity; his identity positions him in the center of thousands of attentions, yet he feels he is unseen; in the brotherhood of thousands of brothers, yet he feels no one knows him.This point the narrator senses but does not fully understand.During his first Brotherhood meeting, he exclaimed, “I am a new citizen of the country of your vision, a native of your fraternal land!