Invisible Man and the Term ‘Bledsoing’

A discussion of the meaning of the term “Bledsoing” in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

This paper reviews the character of Dr. Bledsoe in the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The paper focuses on the term ‘Bledsoing’ which is coined by the narrator of the story, based on Dr. Beldsoe’s beliefs and actions. The paper describes the character, Dr. Bledsoe, in order to illustrate the meaning of the term ‘bledsoing’. The paper illustrates how the term is used in a negative fashion to convey the narrator’s feelings.
The narrator of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison uses the term Bledsoing to refer to a set of beliefs and actions. The term comes from Dr. Bledsoe, a character in the novel who believes that the black person should act in a way that suits the white man and achieves what appears to be a successful life by doing this. At the same time though, Dr. Bledsoe suppresses his individuality and rejects other black people. The narrator refers to this set of beliefs and actions as Bledsoing. In using this term, the narrator is rejecting Dr. Bledsoe as a model of true success and beginning the process of finding his own way in life and especially, finding his individuality.