Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Contributed by Fernande Huls
Chapter 9

The narrator, finally desperate to find work, goes to Mr. Emerson to ask for a job. He has the final letter of recommendation from Dr. Bledsoe with him, but instead of Mr. Emerson himself, he meets with Mr. Emerson’s son. The man reads the letter of recommendation and out of sympathy, he warns the narrator that the letters are derogatory. Dr. Bledsoe’s letter explains that the narrator is "a former student of ours (I say formerbecause he shall never, under any circumstances, be enrolled as a student here again) who has been expelled for a most serious defection from our strictest rules of deportment." Chapter 9, pg. 190 The narrator is shocked at the betrayal because Dr. Bledsoe was once his idol. He realizes that these letters are the reason that he hasn’t heard from any of the trustees with whom he hoped to work, so now he must find some more common job so that he can have enough money to live. He leaves Mr. Emerson’s office and finds his way to Liberty Paints, a paint factory where he’s hired. He can’t help but think about how much he’d like revenge against Dr. Bledsoe for his betrayal.

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