Q & A: Discuss the significance of the Golden Day in “Invisible Man”

The Golden Day is first a metaphorical community of roguish figures, a forthright reflection of the harshness of the divide in the society

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Discuss the significance of the Golden Day in Invisible Man.

Humanity undeniably exists even among those whose existence is abused, trampled, and immolated by the power-drunk supremacists at the receiving end of that godliness and show of love.

— Mayokun Kehinde Folorunsho

The event that takes place at the Golden Day undergirds the angst that characterises the storyline of Ellison’s Invisible Man as a vehement satire of subjugation.

The plot of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man keenly follows the endless struggle of the anonymous protagonist in the process of orchestrating his own fate. He is trapped between swallowing his helplessness or redefining that invisibility. In that wise, he is taken through both a transparent and opaque relationship with persons — Mr Norton, Dr Bledsoe, and all the Brothers — whose roles in his predicament serve a lens through which he comes to realise the severance of the divide. A concise examination of these happenstances hinges the reader to the towering significance so portrayed at the exposition stage of the story’s plot.

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The Golden Day is first a metaphorical community of roguish figures, a forthright reflection of the harshness of the divide in the society to and in which the Picaresque is set.

Although the commentary on Mr Norton’s skin colour during the resuscitation exercise sets it to the everyday White-versus-Black condition of the racist American society, that does not preclude the manifestation of any kind of such sociopolitical ill anywhere in the world. The world is too dramatic not to be represented in part as in a whole in any successful piece of literature reaching to the heart of its shamelessness.

Anyway, the Golden Day is the author’s beatification of the Black’s venomous experiences existing in a far away world within the same soil as their White counterparts who monopolise the aids to existence — no, who enslave them.

Because the two races co-exist as one people even though the White fail to see this truth, Mr Norton’s passing out is symbolic of the Whites’ killing of themselves indirectly. The White faction (through the eye of Mr Norton) passes out! The Golden Day therefore makes for a battleground where the White lose more than they benefit, snuffed out by the blinding schism they orchestrate within the society.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

Again, it cannot be less an inscribing truth that the Golden Day represents a confinement of ambitions. The reader is made to see the societal drain of intellect simulated by the scenery at the Golden Day. In this contiguous approach, itself a fine technique, Mr Norton’s resuscitation evinces the striking fact. He is attended to by cognoscenti from all walks of life, rescued by a fine medical practitioner. Here we see the irony of the situation at hand: the ‘flaw’ of being colored does not deny the fact that a critical solution can come from the least expected source.

Moving on, the Golden Day passes for the imperishable dream to which the marginalised group of a schism-rent society is inalienably entitled. Furthermore, it is at the Golden Day that we know who is truly human! It here passes for an exposition of the satirical underlay.

The anonymous protagonist finds himself at his wit’s end to save Mr Norton’s life at all costs declaring: “Gentlemen, this man is my grandfather!” Humanity undeniably exists even among those whose existence is abused, trampled, and immolated by the power-drunk supremacists at the receiving end of that godliness and show of love.

Lastly, the Golden Day is an expression of the untamable longing for freedom. It is a compact phrase which underscores the expectations of the segregated community who endlessly agitate against their invisibility. This is established by the revelation that “In the beginning, black is on top”. It is a Day of emancipation from the savagery indirect and slavery.

Not having exhausted the facts there are, this writer emphasises that the significance of the Golden Day in this existential narrative is the non-verbal but expressively vociferous argument of the nameless protagonist. This is the sailing through the turpitude of White supremacy. It is a penetrating expression of hope in despair. The will to survive the “bear’s den” is the need to see being alive as the first and ultimate duty of the revolutionary in any circumstance of the struggle. These are the pervading ideas that run on in the masterpiece for the significance of the prefiguration, Golden Day.

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