The novel contains many examples of ideology, from the tamer, ingratiating ideology of Booker T.
Washington subscribed to at the narrator’s college to the more violent, separatist ideology voiced by Ras the Exhorter.
It sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era, especially by using violence against African American leaders.
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The novel implies that life is too rich, too various, and too unpredictable to be bound up neatly in an ideology; like jazz, of which the narrator is particularly fond, life reaches the heights of its beauty during moments of improvisation and surprise.
The narrator is not the only African American in the book to have felt the limitations of racist stereotyping.
Although the narrator initially embraces his invisibility in an attempt to throw off the limiting nature of stereotype, in the end he finds this tactic too passive.
He determines to emerge from his underground “hibernation,” to make his own contributions to society as a complex individual.
Although all of these conceptions arise from within the black community itself, the novel implies that they ultimately prove as dangerous as white people’s racist stereotypes.