Invisible Man Chapter 3
On the way to the Golden Day, Mr. Norton grows so weak in the backseat of the car that he passes out. The narrator brings him inside the brothel hoping to revive him with whiskey, and it works. But then the brothel is flooded with black war veterans who have come over from the nearby insane asylum. While Mr. Norton is conscious but still sickly, a fight breaks out between the veterans and their guard, and in the chaos, Mr. Norton loses consciousness again. One of the veterans, only semi-sane, helps the narrator carry Mr. Norton upstairs and out of the fighting. When Mr. Norton wakes again after a few minutes, the black veteran, formerly a doctor, talks to the old man about how he was a respected surgeon in France. When he returned to the United States after the first World War, however, he was driven from a town where he tried to save lives and beaten for his efforts, so he gave up surgery. As the vet talks, more rage and nonsense begins to come out and the narrator is frightened of the way that the old vet speaks to the doctor with such a tone of equality and authority. The vet keeps talking about how black men are trained to be zombies who bend to the will of white people, "to repress not only his emotions but his humanity . . . [to be] invisible, a walking personification of the Negative, . . . the mechanical man!" Chapter 3, pg. 94 The narrator and Mr. Norton get so nervous that they try to leave amid the ruckus in the bar below. On the way out Mr. Norton stumbles and scrapes his head against the screen door, and the narrator can tell that the man is angry, so they hurry away.