Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Contributed by Fernande Huls
Chapter 8

The narrator sends the letters of recommendation that Dr. Bledsoe has given him to the offices of several of the school’s trustees expecting to find work with them. He waits for more than a month, but he never hears back from any of them. There is one trustee who was out of town, and just when he is about to give up hope of finding a job, he gets a letter from Emerson. The narrator wants to go see Emerson to find out whether or not he can get a job there, but he doesn’t know if he should or not because he’s never been in this position before. The young man’s getting desperate because he’s running out of money as he waits to hear back from Emerson, and because he lied and told his parents that he had a job already, he can’t ask them for money. He doesn’t even have enough money for the bus fare home, so he’s running out of options. And although he was pleased by the way that white people and black people co-exist in New York, he’s noticed that the white people don’t really see him at all. "I felt that even when they were polite they hardly saw me, that they would have begged the pardon of Jack the Bear, never glancing his way if the bear happened to be walking along minding his business. It was confusing. I did not know if it was desirable or undesirable . . ." 

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