Ultimately, it is the limited vision of others that causes the narrator’s identity to become subverted again and again. His attempts to gain visibility are a direct consequence of his beliefs of the ideology of others (Barbee and Bledsoe’s message, Brother Jack and the Brotherhood). It is only when he starts to break away from the Brotherhood does he finally begin to understand himself.
“A glass eye. A buttermilk white eye distorted by the light rays. An eye staring fixedly at me as from the dark waters of the well. Then I was looking at him standing above me, outlined by the light against the darkened half of the wall” (Ellison 466).
“I looked at him again as for the first time, seeing a little bantam rooster of a man with a high-domed forehead and a raw eye-socket that wouldn’t quite accept its lid. I looked at him carefully now with some of the red spots fading and with the feeling that I was just awakening from a dream” (Ellison 468).
“I looked at his eye. So he knows how I feel. Which eye is really the blind one?” (Ellison 470).
Questions to consider: How do the above quotations support the argument that the limited vision of others is causing the subversion of the narrator’s identity? How does the motifs of light versus dark (especially in the quote listed above) relate to the idea of visibility versus invisibility?