Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man illuminates Sonsyrea Tate’s statement that “You can leave home all you want but home will never leave you.” After unfortunately being expelled from his college, the narrator is left with no other option but to leave his home and travel north, a choice which has both positive and negative outcomes. What he doesn't realize is that his new home will be all too similar to the one he left behind. Over the course of the novel the narrator will be the victim of manipulation and will be inferior in the eyes of others, all while continuing his goal of being someone inspirational like Booker T. Washington.
Although the narrator doesn't realize it at first, since the beginning he is manipulated by others. This begins the day he is invited to give a speech to the town’s leading white citizens. The narrator arrives prepared to do nothing else but give his speech. However, things don’t go as expected. “When I got there I discovered that it was on the occasion of a smoker, and I was told that since I was to be there anyway I might as well take part in the battle royal to be fought by some of my schoolmates as part of the entertainment” (Ellison 17). This shows how others took advantage of the narrator and forced him into a battle royal for pure entertainment. When the narrator moves to Harlem he expects to have a whole different life from the one he had at home. He is offered a job in the brotherhood and does what he is told only to discover that they are also manipulating him. During the night of the riot he finally acknowledges that he has been used, “It was not suicide, but murder. The committee had planned it. And I had helped, had been a tool. A tool just at the very moment I had thought myself free” (Ellison 553). The narrator is constantly being manipulated and used as a tool. This follows him even after he leaves home proving that even if you leave home, home will never leave you.
When the narrator was living in the south...