Ralph someone or treating others as his own. Bledsoe

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Invisible Man follows the story of an unnamed narrator who is forced to face the hard truth of a racist society. Throughout his life, the narrator is looking for a way to identify himself, for a way to be something more than invisible. Seaton believes that the Invisible Man ultimately rejects uniformity in favor of diversity. While he is correct in this, he is mistaken in saying that this is in an attempt to gain power. In actuality, the narrator is simply looking for his true self, and in doing so learns that simply conforming with others will never provide him with the self identity he so terribly desires.In meeting Bledsoe, the narrator finds the first situation where he must reject conformity. Bledsoe does precisely what the ruling white men of the world expect of him because it allows him immense power and control over the university. His way of gaining power is to do anything and everything it takes, be it becoming a lapdog of someone or treating others as his own. Bledsoe then makes it clear that he wants the narrator -and every other black- to follow his ways when he confronts the narrator about Mr Norton’s poor care. He yells to the narrator,”He ordered you. Dammit, white folk are always giving orders … Why didn’t you make an excuse? … My God, boy! You’re black and living in the South – did you forget how to lie” (108). The narrator is instantly turned off by Bledsoe’s methods. This person that everyone looks up to turns out to be nothing more than a manipulating man that will stop at nothing to gain a high position. While the narrator will, on his own volition, reject Bledsoe’s idea of uniformity, he is forced to make this decision when he is promptly kicked out out the university. At first glance, it may appear as if the narrator simply wanted to find another way to move up the food chain, but he simply couldn’t force himself to be as unethical as Bledsoe. However, this idea is undermined when he becomes in debt to Mary for her housing and food. He has been constantly searching for a new identity in New York after discovering Bledsoe’s true intentions of never letting him back. Eventually, however, he hears about a certain new job that pays “sixty dollars a week” and allows him to do what he loves. Rather than only thinking about his soon-to-be wealthier life, the first thing he realizes is that he must repay Mary for what she has helped him with. This job turns out, of course, to be from the Brotherhood, who wish him to speak in their name after hearing his most recent speech. Things seem to be working well for the narrator in this new position. However, the Brotherhood, just like everyone else, has their own agenda that they need to fulfill. They assign him to a women’s division in downtown because they feel he is moving too high up the ranks too fast and could potentially threaten the roles of other prominent members. To further erode the narrator’s self identity, after his first big speech for the Brotherhood in the new division, he is harshly criticized for not “reaching the people through their intelligence” and instead creating “a mob” (271). The reality of the situation is that the narrator was conflicting with their ideals by being himself. This spark of independence needed to be silenced, so to keep the narrator in check, he is sent with Brother Hambro for “intense study and indoctrination”. But this is ineffective as after Clifton’s untimely death, the narrator becomes suspicious of the Brotherhood and, similar to what he did with the university, he cuts off ties and refuses to conform with them any longer.In doing so, the narrator rejects uniformity once more. But this time, he is much more accepting of diversity and rejects power much more deliberately. In running from the Brotherhood the narrator was made to disguise himself, to become intentionally invisible. It is in the constant bombardment of being mistaken for “Rinehart” that he realizes the potential that he has to become his own man. It didn’t matter if he was seen as “Rine the runner and Rine the gambler and Rine the briber and Rine the lover and Rinehart the Reverend” (385). He realizes that throughout the book he has been changing his identity in order to conform to Bledsoe, the Brotherhood, and simply the white men in charge. But now he begins to fully understand that he can be his own person and have his own identity. And so, just as Seaton says, he fully accepts diversity in the way of being who he wants, not who others want him to be. But, in his realizing this, he does not gain power and high position over others. He simply gains personal identity, which is what he had been searching for all along.Throughout his experience with the Brotherhood, since he had first moved to New York, the narrator had been getting glimpses of the one known as Ras the Exhorter. From a small gathering with Ras as the speaker, to Ras’ gang breaking up one of the Brotherhood’s own assemblies, it was as if Ras was following him. Ras is the final piece of the puzzle that allows the narrator to understand himself. But only because the narrator completely disagrees with Ras’ means of getting things done. While they both want a vaguely similar outcome, this being peace in society, Ras wants the complete destruction of all whites. He wants uniformity, but instead of doing this by creating equality and justice for the black community, he acts on this with the hopes that the black community is all that remains when he is finished. When confronting the narrator Ras yells, “Where you think you from, going with the white folks? … Why you go over to the enslaver? … What kind of black mahn is that who betray his own mama” (287). Ras calls anyone that so much as speaks to a white man a traitor to the black community. And the narrator, doing much more than simply speaking to whites, is the arch enemy of Ras. Ras is as extreme as someone in support of the black community could be.Thus, It comes as no surprise when the narrator rejects Ras’ ideas seeing as he also rejected Bledsoe’s, whose are, admittedly, more tame. This very apparent rejection of Ras assists the narrator in rejecting the Brotherhood as it leads him to see just how easy it was for them to manipulate others. The entire time, the Brotherhood wanted Ras to start a riot. When the narrator realizes this, he understands just how much the Brotherhood had been using him as a pawn as well. The Narrator, while it took the entire book for him to fully grasp this, finally realizes that he is who he makes himself, and accepts it when he falls into that fateful manhole at the very end. “And I now realized that I couldn’t return … to … my old life. … i could only move ahead or stay here, underground” (443). This final statement by the narrator is what truly seals the deal with Seaton. It becomes outrageous to believe that the narrator could possibly be seeking power when in the end the only option he has is to remain underground, literally and metaphorically.The story of the invisible man is about showing the progress that anyone can make when rejecting simply conforming with others and instead choosing the path of diversity. Often times, in today’s society it is often thought that when one does something differently than the majority he is attempting to gain some sort of power or position above others. Perhaps he even wants to put down those that follow the group. But in reality, many times these “diverse” people are simply trying to find the way that is best fit for them. This point is emphasized throughout the book each time that the narrator is forced to make a decision to either join a group’s method of thinking or to reject it. In his eventual rejection of conformity in all situations, he must make a selection that proves Seaton’s first and foremost points. But in finally deciding to go “underground,” rather than making attempts to gain a voice of authority, the narrator disproves Seaton’s belief that he was simply trying to gain power. He only wished to become someone that he could truly recognize as himself.