"Later, when the protagonist promises to read Emerson, Norton describes his own sense of subjection to an abiding "destiny" or "fate," which for him seems always connected in some way to Emerson's philosophical legacy: "Very good. Self-reliance is a most worthy virtue. I shall look forward with the greatest of interest to learning your contribution to my fate" (Ellison 1981, 108)." (82)
This part is ironic and the article really helped me to notice it. The fact that the narrators life is shaped by Norton in a negative way and Norton wants to make his mark with the Narrator (not specifically). The fact is the Narrator ends up contributing to his fate in a way that is very different from what Norton expects or intends. Norton makes very specific references to Emerson and Norton is the reason that the Narrator is expelled from the college. Essentially the connection with Emerson is supposed to be a negative one. This is something that I never really noticed before yet it is important to note because of the Narrators change in character throughout the novel.