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Invisible Man and Dealing with Trauma
I have been pondering this for a while now I think I have found a new way to look at this is that we can see that this novel can be perceived as documentation on how to not deal with trama. I think that we can see that we have a couple of incidents in the early life of the Narrator. I think one of the largest moments of trama in his early life which would affect the psychology is the battle royale in chapter one. I feel like that this obviously had a very large psychological impact on the main character. I think his family life is a little suspect in the book. We can see what this does to our main character he is very focused on serving the interests of other people we can see this with Nortan and the principle of his college and he doesn't really have a way of coping with the mental health issues that he has and I think we can see in the future in the novel we will see what happens when his mental health issues are untreated
I've never really thought of this but you bring up a really good point. It seems as if he submisses to anyone who is more powerful than him, even if he disagrees. For example Dr. Bledsoe, he's terrified of him so he immediately believes everything he says. We especially see the way IM is manipulated in the most recent chapters we have read. Or like you said in chapter one he had a very traumatic experience and I think this is going to affect him for the rest of the book. I'm excited to look out for this throughout the rest of the book, and I'm excited to see how IM handles more potential trauma that is yet to come his way.
It makes me somber to see our IV dealing with elements that I personally haven't had to deal with at such an extreme level. I think IM makes it apparent that he is dealing with other stuff we don't see yet or that isn't that obvious to the reader. I think there is more to this.
IM had to go through a lot of very tough things. I find the whole family part the most interesting, because other characters in the book seem to have family, while he doesn't. Mr. Norton, Trueblood, the Emersons, and even that one random girl who asked him to give something to her boyfriend. IM doesn't have any friends, and there are only a couple distant mentions to family. I wonder how loneliness is affecting him and what symbolism that suggests.
With the timeline of these events, it surely makes sense that these traumatic experiences hold some weight on IM. Though we do not know too much about IM before what is spoken in the chapters, I feel that he is slightly anxious and is a pleaser. While speaking to Trueblood, IM consistently insists that they leave and head back to the school, prioritizing Mr. Norton's previous endeavors rather than this pit stop that he is very engrossed in. While working at Liberty Paints, IM seems to be very precise in his work, and to please his manager he tries to independently please him by assuming and failing than asking for the correct answer. Through his anxiousness getting Mr. Norton to where he belongs to not wanted to ask for help, my question is: did his trauma from the past lead him to be scared of failure?
I can see that IM is having these internalized struggles because of the harsh traumas he had to undergo in his past. The battle royale being the main one that everyone picks out, is something that could easily scar someone for life. I think that also could have been a turning point for IM in terms of his invisibility, because in that moment he was seen by everyone as he was in the spotlight. However, that’s not how he felt. He felt as if he was a source of entertainment, that people weren’t actually listening to what he had to say, rather mocking him because of his skin color. I think that’s when he really started to feel invisible to everyone.
@theboulder You bring up a good point. Every small interaction that IM encounters is explained in the book almost like introducing a new character to his life. Although they can just be one-time exchanges, it further exemplifies how lonely IM really is. I think the affect his sense of loneliness has kind of makes him more vulnerable, more open to get hurt again by anyone that does him wrong again. This is because he wants so badly to be seen, almost desperate, and that could result in easily getting hurt again.
@xmysterio Yes, almost every person is a new character entirely! The only person who he had already knows is Dr. Bledsoe, who ends up betraying him. He latches on to these characters in power, like Mr. Norton, and only ends up being a victim. In class we have been talking about "otherness", and this 100% ties into that. He doesn't fit in any place in the world that is presented to him, even through he tries so hard.
@xmysterio I was struggling to think of how to word my response to this prompt, and I think you have done it perfectly, however I want to build on your ideas a bit. I think that the turning point in the battle royale really happened IM's speech. When IM got a bit too progressive for the white people in the room and they all got hostile very quickly, I think that shows how the white people don't see IM as a person talking about what they believe, but they just see him as a black person who stepped out of line.
I can't imagine how bad IM trauma must've been. Especially because he is naive which means he is vunerable to explotation and lying by other people with more power. Having the people that are leaders put one through a nightmare like scenario is unreal. Ones self-confidence and trust must be destroyed by that point. Maybe that is why invisible man struggles throughout the whole book to discover himself.
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