Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Contributed by Fernande Huls
Chapter 12

As the narrator walks back to his room at the boarding house he faints. Mary, a kind black woman, helps him to her apartment where she lets him rest and fixes him soup. When he is feeling better, he goes to the boarding house where he rents a room. He notices as he walks through the lobby that people are looking down their noses at him because he’s wearing a workingman’s overalls instead of business attire. He thinks that they believe his clothes suggest that he’s given up the dream of difference and power that they once all had in common before he knew about Bledsoe’s sabotage. Before he makes it out of the lobby, he sees a man who looks like Bledsoe from behind. Blinded by his lust for revenge, he dumps a spittoon on the man’s head only to realize too late that it’s not Bledsoe. He begins renting a room from Mary that night because he is kicked out of the boarding house. While he lives with Mary she always talks about his responsibility to make something of himself to empower and uplift his race. He lives with her for a while with no job and no definite direction.

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