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What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what

I myself had wished to do?


Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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$ife is to be li%ed, not controlled& and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of
certain defeat'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( control, defeat, humanity, life
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I was ne%er more hated than when I tried to be honest' ,r when, e%en as -ust now I.%e tried
to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth' /o one was satisfied
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( inspirational
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I am in%isible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me' $i#e the bodiless heads
you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I ha%e been surrounded by mirrors of
hard, distorting glass' When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themsel%es or
figments of their imagination, indeed, e%erything and anything except me'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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When I disco%er who I am, I0ll be free'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( freedom, identity, independence, self1awareness, self1disco%ery
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I remember that I.m in%isible and wal# softly so as not awa#e the sleeping ones' 2ometimes
it is best not to awa#en them& there are few things in the world as dangerous as
sleepwal#ers'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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5erhaps to lose a sense of where you are implies the danger of losing a sense of who you
are'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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6nd my problem was that I always tried to go in e%eryone.s way but my own'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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5ower doesn.t ha%e to show off' 5ower is confident, self1assuring, self1starting and self1
stopping, self1warming and self1-ustifying' When you ha%e it, you #now it'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( inspriational17uotes
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8he world is a possibility if only you.ll disco%er it'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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Who #nows but that, on the lower fre7uencies, I spea# for you?
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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9or, li#e almost e%eryone else in our country, I started out with my share of optimism' I
belie%ed in hard wor# and progress and action, but now, after first being .for. society and
then .against. it, I assign myself no ran# or any limit, and such an attitude is %ery much
against the trend of the times' :ut my world has become one of infinite possibilities' What a
phrase 1 still it.s a good phrase and a good %iew of life, and a man shouldn.t accept any other&
that much I.%e learned underground' ;ntil some gang succeeds in putting the world in a
strait -ac#et, its definition is possibility'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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I feel the need to reaffirm all of it, the whole unhappy territory and all the things lo%ed and
unlo%eable in it, for it is all part of me'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( inspirational
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I was pulled this way and that for longer than I can remember' 6nd my problem was that I
always tried to go in e%eryone.s way but my own' I ha%e also been called one thing and then
another while no one really wished to hear what I called myself' 2o after years of trying to
adopt the opinions of others I finally rebelled' I am an in%isible man'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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6nd the mind that has concei%ed a plan of li%ing must ne%er lose sight of the chaos against
which that pattern was concei%ed' 8hat goes for societies as well as for indi%iduals'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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I do not #now if all cops are poets, but I #now that all cops carry guns with triggers'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( african1american1literature, fiction, humor, rsas
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5lease, a definition( 6 hibernation is a co%ert preparation for a more o%ert action'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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I am an in%isible man' /o, I am not a spoo# li#e those who haunted Edgar 6llen 5oe& nor am
I one of your >ollywood1mo%ie extoplasms' I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber
and li7uids?and I might e%en be said to possess a mind' I am in%isible, understand, simply
because people refuse to see me' $i#e the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus
sideshows, it is as though I ha%e been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass' When
they approach me they see only my surroundings, themsel%es, or figments of their
imagination?indeed, e%erything and anything except me'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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6merica is wo%en of many strands' I would recognise them and let it so remain' ,ur fate is
to become one, and yet many'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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5erhaps e%eryone lo%ed someone& I didn.t now, I couldn.t gi%e much thought to lo%e& in
order to tra%el far you had to be detached, and I had the long road bac# to the campus before
me'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( lo%e, tra%el
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$i#e the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I ha%e been
surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass' When they approach me they see only my
surroundings, themsel%es, or figments of their imagination?indeed, e%erything and anything
except me'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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8he truth is the light and the light is the truth'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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E%erywhere I.%e turned somebody has wanted to sacrifice me for my own good?only @they@
were the ones who benefited' 6nd now we start on the old sacrificial merry1go1round' 6t
what point do we stop?
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( sacrifice
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Aan.s hope can paint a purple picture, can transform a soaring %ulture into a noble eagle or
moaning do%e'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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Whence all this passion towards conformity anyway? Bi%ersity is the word' $et man #eep his
many parts and you will ha%e no tyrant states' Why, if they follow this conformity business,
they.ll end up by forcing me, an in%isible man, to become white, which is not a color but the
lac# of one' Aust I stri%e towards colorlessness? :ut seriously and without snobbery, thin# of
what the world would lose if that should happen' 6merica is wo%en of many strands' I would
recogniCe them and let it so remain'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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6ll it ta#es to get along in this here man.s town is a little shit, grit, and mother1wit'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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8he cloc# tic#ed with empty urgency, as though trying to catch up with the time' In the
street a siren howled'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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I denounce because though implicated and partially responsible, I ha%e been hurt to the
point of abysmal pain, hurt to the point of in%isibility' 6nd I defend because in spite of it all, I
find that I lo%e'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
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6nd while the ice was melting to form a flood in which I threatened to drown I awo#e one
afternoon to find that my first northern winter had set'
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
tags( personal1de%elopment
3 li#es
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8hey could laugh at him but they couldn.t ignore him
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

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