Blindness = A Fork in the Road?
"What had come out was completely uncalculated, as though another self within me had taken over and held forth." -Invisible Man, Ellison; Chapter 16, page 353.
I chose to look at this quote because it reminded me of something. If I recall correctly, people, such as in the ancient times, did not respect poets; rather, they deemed poets as mere channels of talent. In other words, poets produced these masterpieces, but did not understand their craft. Indeed, any person standing by could interpret a poem better than its author! I cannot decide whether or not this is what is happening to the invisible man. In the above quote, he obviously admits not knowing from where the words came. Is the invisible man a channel? Does he speak the words, but not understand their meaning? However, the invisible man was also temporarily blinded at the culmination of his speech. Was he beginning to see things clearly? Was he beginning to take responsibility for himself and his race, the members of which he formerly deemed ignorant and disgraceful? Was the invisible man beginning to see Dr. Bledsoe as the enemy, the atiphesis of his aspirations, rather than his mentor and predecessor? I cannot decide. The invisible man also speaks of feeling as though he belonged to the audience that accepted his speech, yet he could not see the faces of its members, only a blur. Is the invisible man really beginning to identify with his race, and realize his purpose? Or is he merely going through the motions of some calling he does not understand? Is the invisible man blind in that he now sees things clearly, or is he blind because he does not know where he is going?
What do you think?