The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison


_If the South is hell, the North is purgatory. The Invisible Man’s crazy day at Liberty Paints is in many ways the

symbolic center of the novel.
1) His meeting with Kimbro and the lesson on paint mixing, 2) his conversation and altercation with Brockway and 3) the

forgotten-name lobotomy scene. Explain the larger importance of 1, 2 and 3. Focus on the Invisible Man’s quest for

identity and/or the ways 2 and 3 reflect the diversity and difficulty of life in America.
The information can be found within page 150-295 of the novel.

_Read ZZ Packer’s short story “Our Lady of Peace” (from Drinking Coffee Elsewhere) and compare and contrast Lynnea’s

workplace experience to the workplace experience of Invisible Man at Liberty Paints (in chapter 10). Compare the

exploitation that each experiences on the job. Contrast how gender (Lynnea is female, the Invisible Man is, well, a man)

makes their experiences different.


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