Hello everyone! Welcome back to my library. I haven’t posted in a while , but the wait is over. Today, I am finally back with a new post. After today’s post, there are only 3 chapters left in the book, The Invisible Man. Today’s post is focusing on chapters eighteen chapters though twenty. It’s a wild roller coaster, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.
In chapter 18, the nameless narrator receives an anonymous letter that says “don’t go too fast.” Maybe this letter is referring to his work for the Brotherhood organization. The letter reminds the narrator that, although he is well known for his work, he is still a black man in a white man’s world. Because this is true, anything could happen to him because he is a black man and he is successful. His popularity makes him no different from any other black man during this time. In fact, his popularity makes him a bigger target especially in a place like Harlem. This idea is distributed throughout chapters eighteen, nineteen, and twenty.
Anyways, the young man becomes worried about the letter so he goes to Brother Tarp to discuss it. Tarp tells the narrator that he has nothing to worry about because everyone likes him at the organization. Then, Tarp shares that he was once held in chains for nineteen years because he told a white man no. This is a reflection of the idea I presented earlier. He gives the young man a leg iron to remind him of the world he is living in.
The narrator ,then, talks to Brother Wrestrum. Brother Wrestrum explains his own ideas about the Brotherhood to the narrator. Wrestrum warns the young man to be aware of the people around him because the white men of the organization may soon turn on black members like themselves. However, the narrator shouldn’t have worried about the white men but Brother Wrestrum instead.
Wrestrum accuses the narrator of using the organization for his personal advantage. This act leads the narrator to being kicked our of the Harlem department and moved to women’s rights. Brother Wrestrum is clearly the backstabber in the organization not the white people. Although he is disappointed, the young man packs his belongings and leaves. He will dedicate himself to his new assignment as much as his previous.
In chapter nineteen, the narrator is at an event for women’s rights when he meets a white lady. The white woman invites him to her house to discuss the “Brotherhood’s ideology.” Now if you have watched as many movies as I have, you know she is NOT trying to talk about the Brotherhood’s ideas. She only has one thing in mind ,and as a white person, she knows she can get it. This goes back to the idea presented. He is just a black man living in her world. The two go to her house and sleep together that night. However, her husband comes home!!
Immediately after reading this, a hurricane of thoughts flustered in my head. Will he get caught? Did the lady set him up? What will the husband do? Thankfully, the husband and wife do not sleep in the same bedroom (this is common in this era). The husband peeps in her room to check on her. Because it’s dark he sees nothing unusual. However, the narrator is aware of the husband. Imagine how scared he would be. As soon as the husband leaves, the narrator grabs his things and leaves the house. He vows to never get himself in that situation again. That is a good promise to keep.
Eventually, the Brotherhood transfers him back to the Harlem department. While he was gone, Clifton disappeared. The Brotherhood lost popularity in Harlem as well. Maybe when the narrator left, Harlem left with him. Perhaps, Harlem has become him.
In chapter twenty, the narrator walks into a bar he usually goes to. While there, he sees two familiar men from his lectures. He tried to talk to him , but they respond hostile. The young man soon learns that many of the jobs the Brotherhood supported have disappeared. It seems like a lot has happened since the young man left. Later, he waits for a call to attend a meeting, but the call never comes. The narrator decides to go to headquarters. He finds the meeting has already started without him. This was the plan all along, to leave him out. Furious, he storms out into the street. There, he sees the missing Brother Clifton. He was selling dolls on the corner until a police walked toward him. He grabbed his things and ran. I guess he wasn’t suppose to sell those dolls. However, he dropped one doll , and the narrator picked it up. The narrator walks around the corner and sees a crowd with Clifton in the middle. Clifton was caught by policeman. I’m sure the narrator had great fear for his friend, but that tone changed. Brother Clifton punches one of the officers. The officer pulls out his gun and shoots Clifton dead. He was just a black man living in a white man’s world.