The Importance Of Insights In The Invisible Man

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Some may argue that the past should remain in the past, meaning that they try to not obsess over unchangeable events in the past. While this method to dealing with past events does hold merit, the ability to examine or in the least learn from the past proves a more important skill. Ignoring the past in favor of the task at hand can lead to a repetition of mistakes that could have been avoided. Insights from the past often offer the most valuable aid in the present, acting as lessons or merely enlightened revelations. For this information to be best used it should be combined with the knowledge of when it can be used to change a perspective. A multitude of possible re-imagining situations present themselves to the Invisible Man but since he …show more content…
Hot imagery connotes enlightenment and progress whereas cold imagery represents ignorance and an inability to advance in life. After experiencing failure in several areas of his life, the Invisible Man meets Mary who invites him to stay with her. There, he remembers his failures and humiliation of the past and describes “a spot of black anger [glowing]”. He continues to describe himself as an “old freezing unit,” that no longer works because “hot water had gotten into its coils.” In the middle of finding a new occupation, the Invisible Man experiences hot emotions alluding to the possibility to advance himself. In contrast, he felt “frozen virtue,” and “freezing vice” when he attended college, experiencing no chances to truly advance himself (Ellison 259). After being taken in by Mary, The Invisible Man walks past a yam vendor which sparks a revelation. Once he purchases the meal he reflects on his outlook on life, deciding momentarily to throw off the burdens of worrying about how people categorize him when he consumes food stereotypically enjoyed by Blacks. The “warmth thrown by the coals that glowed in a grate underneath,” the freshly baking yams represents the verging enlightenment, contrasted with the cold weather (263). This new frame of mind does not solidify, and soon the Invisible Man throws the yam away because “it had been frost bitten,” (267). Once the yam is infected by the cold the end of the Invisible Man’s short lived view shift becomes evident. When another contingency for change presents itself after Tod Clifton’s death, the Invisible Man recognizes that he should appreciate and make use of the opportunity “before it simmer[es] away in the heat,” and leaves him in the same position (461). Heat generally emits a lively, passionate implication where cold suggests either a reclusive, sharp demeanor

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