Dr. Bledsoe, the president of the narrator’s college, denies the narrator of his dream. The narrator looked up to Dr. Bledsoe and believed that Dr. Bledsoe had his best interest at heart until he turns out to be a big phony. He expels the narrator from his college for making a mistake. After getting expelled, the narrator decides to journey to New York to begin his job hunt. Dr. Bledsoe sends seven letter of “recommendation” with the narrator to “help” him with his job hunt. The narrator soon realizes, after he’d already sent them out, that those letters were the complete opposite of letters of recommendation; they crippled his chances of getting a job.
Another institution that denied the narrator his agenda was The Brotherhood, a strong multi-racial organization with purpose to fight for justice and equality for all people, but in reality exploits blacks and uses them to promote its own political agenda. As Brother Jack is recruiting the narrator into The Brotherhood, he says, “’This is your new name . . . Start thinking of yourself by that name from this moment’” (240). The Brotherhood was no better than slave masters who renamed their slaves.
Eventually, the narrator realizes that his own identity is the source of meaning in his life and that acting to fulfill others’ expectations will only result in the loss of his true identity, or what’s left of it. Ras’s threatening to kill the narrator makes the narrator see the world as meaningless and absurd and that American life is equally absurd. “So