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Guerrero 5

plaything; as valuable as a circus clown and as dignified as a prostitute. Immersed in a world

where he is nothing more than a puppet, Ellison’s character literally fights for his life,

humiliating himself for the sake of white men’s entertainment, and his won chance to give a

speech in front of these “men”. The narrator experiences a Harlem Riot of ;his won when he

helps a number of black men burn down their apartment complex during the final chapter. The

invisible man finds a thrill in this risky task “shaking with fierce excitement” (549) as he

maneuvers his way through the smoldering building. The sheer delight that Ellison’s invisible

man finds in such a terrible feat turns out to be the adventure that finally gives him reason and

sensation in the world. This exhilarating escape for the harsh world surrounding him finally

gives the narrator something to value in the world: freedom. The narrator, allowing himself to

join in the activities of the masses, discovers a profound release from the hardships of the world

in the ability to destroy, rather than to be destroyed.

The narrator in Invisible Man, along with the entire African American community, at first

feels as if his race automatically makes him inferior to the white society surrounding him, but

later steps away for the judgment of the world and finds himself on the path to recovery. Upon

seeing an African American couple being evicted from their apartment, the narrator comes to a

sudden epiphany: “I had accepted the accepted attitudes and it had made life seem simple” (267).

With this sudden enlightenment, the narrator sees that he cannot solely blame society for

oppressing him. The narrator knows that without the courage and the complete conviction to

take action and go against the grain, he cannot expect anything more than to be pushed back

down to join the rest of the fallen. Before giving a speech at a Brotherhood rally, the narrator

gives himself something to look forward to, thinking, “Perhaps simply to be …the focal point of

so many…perhaps this [is] enough to make one different” (336). Realizing that, for once, he

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