Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Contributed by Fernande Huls
Chapter 24

The narrator, in his desire to get even with the Brotherhood for screwing him and Harlem, begins to fool the committee into believing that Harlem supports their every move and that things there are progressing in support of the Communist cause. At Brother Jack’s birthday celebration, the narrator realizes that he can’t use Jack’s mistress to get information because although she would sleep with the narrator, she would never give up whatever information she had. He chooses another woman, Sybil, whose husband is a member of the leading committee of the Brotherhood. He sets up the seduction scene, but it’s already too late to get out of it when he realizes that she has no information that he can use. After their drunken encounter he gets an emergency call from the district office in Harlem and has to leave right away. He’s drunk and disoriented, and he can’t get rid of Sybil because she keeps getting out of the cab he found for her and trying to follow him. He finally convinces her to go home and the cabbie warns him that all of Harlem is in an uproar. The narrator, briefcase in hand, makes his way to the Harlem district.

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