Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Contributed by Fernande Huls
Chapter 6

The young man meets with Dr. Bledsoe after the church service, and he is expelled because he has put the school in danger by exposing the most unflattering part of the black community to Mr. Norton, a man who has so much financial pull with the school. The narrator defends himself in an unexpected outburst. He vows to tell Mr. Norton and anyone who will listen that Dr. Bledsoe has broken his promise to Mr. Norton and expelled the young man anyway. Dr. Bledsoe warns him to tell anyone that he wants because no one will listen to him. No one will believe the boy over him because he is so powerful that he defies the hierarchy of racial power. "The white folk tell everybody what to think -- except men like me. I tell them" Chapter 6, pg. 143, and because of that power, the young man is defenseless against the dean’s decision. Yet the narrator does gain something favorable from the outburst. Dr. Bledsoe says that he admires the boy’s spirit and so he offers to give him letters of recommendation so that he can find some work in New York City. He says that if the boy works and earns enough money for the next year’s tuition, he can come back to the college. The narrator accepts the expulsion and the letters of recommendation and leaves for New York the following morning.

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