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Even so Ellison does not rely on merely the invisible man to convey the W.Bell calls the portrayal of ‘the historical quest of black American for identity in a society whose traditions simultaneously inspire and inhibit their impulse toward freedom and self-realization’.Characters like Trueblood immerge. Although he has committed the sin of incest, trueblood does not allow his guilt to bind him. He turns towards the blues for guidance and repentance. One can even say that trueblood turns inward, looking to himself and to what defines him as an individual. W.Bell says that ‘the courage and discipline that Trueblood discovers in the blues are essential values that the hero must learn by acknowledging his folk heritage’. The character of the junkman that the hero meets later in New York is also a reinforcement of the idea of the blues as being part of the cultural heritage of the black community. The idea of jazz and the blues and the power that they were able to distribute lies in their ability to parallel the then black life. Writing in ‘Living with music’ Ellison is quoted as saying ‘life could be harsh, loud and wrong if it wished, but they lived it fully and when they expressed their attitude toward the world it was with a fluid style that reduced the chaos of living to form’ This idea is reinforced through the meeting of the invisible man with the junkman who unlike Trueblood is not ultimately dismissed by the protagonist, ‘he had me grinning despite myself. I liked his words through I didn’t know the answer. Id known the stuff from childhood, but had forgotten it; had learned it back of school….’.Where as the tainted past of Trueblood causes the invisible man to cast him aside the quizzical performance of the junkman allows for him to grasp at his own heritage. A notion reinforced through the simple act of buying a baked yam from the street vendor soon afterwards.’ I yam what I am’. It is these grasps at heritage and the acceptance of his own peoples strive for freedom that the invisible man must realise is the essential makeup of his quest for personal individuality and freedom. For they are, part of the make-up of who he is. What must also be noted is that throughout the novel and these incidents, the invisible man seems to have a certain type of plan that each time he strives to achieve. Yet as the novel progresses the plan changes. It is transformed from the mere wish of wanting to graduate and become as highly respected by the white community as Bledsoe. To wanting to work hard and be able to return to his school, to wanting assert himself within the brotherhood. To finally whilst in his hole, wanting only to assert his own humanity.


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