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The Importance of the Negro Bank in Invisible Man Essay

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   The early Americana coin bank which the narrator of Invisible Man discovers one morning in his room at Mary's house is a reflection of the narrator's state throughout much of the novel. The offensively exaggerated Negro figure provokes an instant hatred in the narrator due to the tolerance it suggests. However, the narrator becomes personally offended by the object because of the similarities it holds to himself. While smashing the pipes with the bank, he yells out to his neighbors who are banging on the pipes, "'Get rid of your cottonpatch ways! Act civilized!'" (320). Thus he associates the hatred he feels for the bank figure with his neighbors who are acting no less civilized than he is. He is not aware of his own "cottonpatch ways" it appears.

            In describing the bank, the narrator states that it is the kind of bank that flips coins from its hand into a large grinning mouth. In order to put money in the bank, one must feed the smiling, hungry Negro. At a point in the narrator's life where he has no money and has decided to join the Brotherhood out of a debt ...


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