Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison | Chapter 22 | Summary and Q&A

May 20, 2019
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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison | Chapter 22


The narrator defends his actions at Clifton's funeral to the Brotherhood, highlighting their lack of empathy and the corrupt nature of the organization.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ’— The narrator's character has grown, as he confidently defends himself against the white leaders of the Brotherhood.
  • 🫚 The narrator acknowledges his cultural roots and challenges the Brotherhood's unquestionable authority.
  • 🫡 The Brotherhood disregards Clifton's positive contributions and views him solely as a traitor for selling dolls.
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸ¦³ The narrator recognizes the manipulation of history by white men and fears Clifton will be remembered for one incident.
  • ❓ The narrator feels conflicted, wanting to create a legacy within the Brotherhood but acknowledging its corruption.
  • πŸ–οΈ Personal responsibility plays a significant role for the narrator in organizing Clifton's funeral.
  • πŸ–€ The Brotherhood's indifference towards Clifton's death highlights their lack of empathy.


in chapter 22 of Invisible Man the narrator is called to headquarters to discuss Clifton's funeral which the Brotherhood is upset about because it wasn't used as a platform to promote Brotherhood politics the narator tries to defend himself by saying he tried to honor his personal responsibility to Clifton's memory this statement personal responsib... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the Brotherhood react to Clifton's funeral?

The Brotherhood is upset that Clifton's funeral was not used as a platform for promoting their politics, showing their disregard for mourning and empathy.

Q: How does Brother Jack react to the narrator's defense?

Brother Jack dismisses the narrator and mocks his emotions, revealing his lack of sympathy and prioritization of the Brotherhood's reputation.

Q: How does the narrator challenge the Brotherhood?

The narrator accuses the Brotherhood leaders of lacking understanding and cultural sensitivity, claiming to know more about the community's needs because he is black.

Q: What is the significance of Brother Jack's glass eye?

Brother Jack's glass eye symbolizes his blindness to the true needs of the black community and his willingness to sacrifice individuals for the Brotherhood's agenda.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The narrator is called to discuss Clifton's funeral and is criticized by the Brotherhood for not using it to promote their politics.

  • The Brotherhood cares more about protecting their reputation than mourning the death of a former friend.

  • The narrator stands up to the Brotherhood, asserting his personal responsibility and criticizing their lack of understanding of the black community.

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