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1. Trace the metaphors of blindness in the novel, explaining both the plot significance and the thematic significance of them.
2. Who in the novel repeats the Grandfather's philosophy as it was told to the narrator in his childhood? When does the narrator begin to espouse this view himself?
3. Explore the significance of the tokens the narrator collects throughout the novel (the diploma, the Brotherhood membership, the anonymous letter, the broken bank, and the paper doll puppet). Trace the growth of the narrator using these mementos.
4. When does the narrator begin to see the weaknesses of the Brotherhood, and why?
5. Compare and contrast Tod Clifton and the narrator. 6. Contrast the narrator in the Prologue and Epilogue to the narrator in the body of the novel. Use specific details and examples of how the two characters differ.
7. Investigate the ideas of Booker T. Washington as used by Ellison in the novel. How do they influence the narrator?
8. What people and institutions embody racism in its various forms in the novel?
9. Is the mood at the end of the novel hopeful or defeated? Explain your answer.
10. Relate the meaning of the title to the entire novel.