Invisible Man

Headlines often report conflicts - clashes between opposing forces:

  • Hurricane off Florida Coastline Forces Residents to Evacuate
  • Professional Athlete Struggles to Overcome Drug Problems
  • Citizens Stage Protest Against Nuclear Weapons and the Arms Race
  • Two Men Arrested in Barroom Brawl
  • Movie Star Tells About Battle to Recover from Stroke

The following excerpt from Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man shows the main character in conflict.

How had I come to this? I kept unswervingly to the path placed before me, had tried to be exactly what I was expected to be, had done exactly what I was expected to do-yet, instead of winning the expected reward, here I was stumbling along, holding on desperately to one of my eyes in order to keep from bursting out my brain against some familiar object swerved into my path by my disordered vision. And now to drive me wild I felt, suddenly that my grandfather was hovering over me, grinning triumph out of the dark. I simply could not endure it. For, despite my and anger, I knew of no other way of living, nor other forms of success available to such as me. I was so completely a part of that existence that in the end I had to make my peace. It was either that or admit that my grandfather had made sense. Which was impossible for, though I still believed myself innocent, I saw that only alternative to permanently facing the world of Trueblood and the Golden Day was to accept the responsibility for what had happened. Somehow, I had convinced myself, I had violated the code and thus would have to submit to punishment; Dr. Bledsoe is right, I told myself, he’s right; the school and what it stands for have to be protected. There was no other way, and no matter how much I suffered would pay my debt quickly as possible and return to building my career…

Back in my room I counted my savings, some fifty dollars, and decided to get to New York as quickly as possible. If Dr. Bledsoe didn’t change his mind about helping me get a job, it would be enough to pay my room and board at Men’s House, about which I had learned from fellows who lived there during their summer vacations. I would leave in the morning.

-Excerpted from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, 1947

On the lines, state the conflict and explain how it was resolved.

  1. The conflict is between
  2. The conflict is resolved when