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Dreams in Invisible Man Essay

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There are many types of dreams and many interpretations of those dreams. Dreams of power... of glory... of the past and the present... but none are as vivid as those that are found in Ralph Ellison's novel, Invisible Man.

The dreams start occurring in the very beginning of Invisible Man. In the infamous "Reefer Dream", IM talks about a dream he had after he used narcotics. In this bizarre dream, IM hears a speech on "the blackness of black", is assaulted by the son of a former slave, and is run over by a speeding machine. All of this occurs while listening to "What Did I Do To Be So Black and Blue?"(pgs 9-12). This is one of the most significant dreams in the book.

In another important dream, IM's deceased grandfather gives him a letter that says," To Whom It May Concern, Keep this Nigger-Boy Running (Ellison 33)." At the time IM had no insight to its meaning, but this dream would constantly be used as a reference throughout the story.

Trueblood has a dream about his home, Mobile, Alabama, that directly affects IM's future. At the same time, Trueblood was having sex ...


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