The first-person narrator of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man remains nameless in this tale of an African-American man dealing with prejudice and poverty in midcentury America. The narrator is living alone in the basement of a building owned by whites, reviewing his past. Born in a small southern town, he was a brilliant student, and after enduring humiliation at the hands of whites, receives a scholarship to an all-black college. When a misadventure costs him his scholarship, he heads to New York, and is injured in a boiler accident, winding up in a mental ward where he is given shock treatment. Living in Harlem with a kindly mother figure named Mary, the narrator makes a plea for justice, and is chased by the police. He joins a Brotherhood of Socialists, but is relegated to addressing “the woman question” after his display of independence creates envy among the organization. He continually falls afoul of both whites and blacks, and this dilemma finally drives him underground. As the story ends, he is preparing to take part in a new political action, where he will strive for a better society. A dark reflection on the difficulties facing African-American men in the twentieth century, Ellison has penned a novel that remains respected as a noteworthy classic.