Society’s presumptions about the narrator tend to be rather mistaken since no one knows his true essence. For some reason, he is considered to be the nameless protagonist who is also reflected in the title of the novel.
1930s America with all the stereotypes and racial preconceptions force the black man, the narrator, play different social roles to satisfy the white society. Less intelligent, non-progressive or, even, lack of every chance to be successful – all the mentioned is thought about the narrator. Therefore, there is not the only simple way to describe his past since he possesses three names: his own one (the reader never knows what it is), the name given by his Brotherhood (it is also in a big secret) and the name, Rinehart. The last is not of the positive connotation due to associations with the gambler and pimp.
On the one hand, the protagonist is smart, highly introspective, advanced with the language. On the other hand, all the mentioned characteristics are diminished since his relation to the past experience reveals his individual to be a naïve youngster.
The reader is able to trace the whole protagonist life since the social development of the narrator is interwoven throughout the whole novel. With the flow of the story, one may understand that the narrator experiences some kind of his individual revelation. The process of self-understanding is developed through undertaking social roles as a college student, as a worker at the plant, as the member of a political organization. Though the perception of his race is highly nihilistic and it creates complexity in his everyday life, the narrator strives to manifest his own strong social and moral position through the society is blind to perceive all the blessings that the man is gifted with.
The Narrator (Invisible Man) in the Essays