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The Narrator In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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The narrator in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man functions according to his psychological state of mind. Ellison creates the narrator with his own, unique mind, paralleling with the effect he has on the environment and his peers. The narrator's underdeveloped unconscious mind, as well as the constant clashes he has with his unconscious and conscious thoughts, lead him to a straight path of invisibility. Although physical factors also play a role in affecting the narrator's decisions, psychological traits primarily shape the narrator to become an “invisible man”. As Sigmund Freud theorized, the mind is broken up into both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. Within the unconscious mind exists three different apparatuses: Id, Ego, and…show more content…
His superego is extremely underdeveloped because of its ability to revert back to the Id with no hesitation, and his ego barely mediates between both the Id and superego, favoring one or the other depending on the situation. This hostility within the unconscious mind creates conscious and unconscious conflicts within the narrator, especially when he questions individual trust. When deciding whether or not to obey certain antagonists such as Dr. Bledsoe or Brother Jack, he begins to analyze the situation drastically, viewing his past experiences as a major factor into his final decision. This train of thought provokes disputes within the narrator's unconscious and conscious mind. In a situation where Bledsoe made the narrator leave the college, the narrator's unconscious mind chose to obey him and leave. However, his conscious mind struggled to make the final decision to go through with it. His conscious constantly reflected on his past actions as well as his possible wrongdoings towards the college, creating a nervous self within the narrator when he was forced to accept Bledsoe’s
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