Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Contributed by Fernande Huls
Chapter 7

When the narrator climbed on the bus to New York he was surprised to see that the veteran who had spoken so brashly to Mr. Norton at the Golden Day was being transferred to another hospital. He knew that Dr. Bledsoe had arranged to have the vet sent away. The veteran keeps telling the young man to play the white man’s game but never believe in it, and the narrator is confused about what the vet means so he just ignores him.

On the New York subway to Harlem for the first time the narrator is uneasy because the subway car is so packed that he has to touch a white woman. The fact that she doesn’t scream for help or even seem angry about it shocks the young man. He is further surprised when he arrives in Harlem and sees that it is run by black people for black people, and because of this he is optimistic about his chances for success in this city. The prevalence of black people in positions of authority, like police officers, makes him certain that with his letters of recommendation from Dr. Bledsoe, he’ll certainly do well there.

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