Invisible Man

Brother Jack Character Analysis

Brother Jack is an experienced politician and the leader of the Brotherhood. When the narrator first meets Brother Jack he is cool and collected, able to marshal reams of history and theory with ease. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Brother Jack is more interested in his own power than in any scientific theory of history. Brother Jack uses the Brotherhood’s theory to justify his own commands, and ultimately admits to the narrator that he intends to tell the people what to think. His single eye becomes a metaphor for his partial blindness.

Brother Jack Quotes in Invisible Man

The Invisible Man quotes below are all either spoken by Brother Jack or refer to Brother Jack. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Race and Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Invisible Man published in 1995.
Chapter 22 Quotes

Our job is not to ask them what they think but to tell them!

Related Characters: Brother Jack (speaker)
Page Number: 473
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Invisible Man quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 25 Quotes

I looked at Ras on his horse and at their handful of guns and recognized the absurdity of the whole night and of the simple yet confoundingly complex arrangement of hope and desire, fear and hate, that had brought me here still running, and knowing now who I was and where I was and knowing too that I had no longer to run for or from the Jacks and the Emersons and the Bledsoes and Nortons, but only from their confusion, impatience, and refusal to recognize the beautiful absurdity of their American identity and mine.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Dr. Bledsoe, Mr. Norton, Brother Jack, Ras the Exhorter, Young Emerson
Page Number: 559
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire Invisible Man LitChart as a printable PDF.
Invisible man.pdf.medium

Brother Jack Character Timeline in Invisible Man

The timeline below shows where the character Brother Jack appears in Invisible Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Just as the narrator thinks he’s escaped detection, the voice of Brother Jack pierces him from behind, complimenting the narrator on his powers of persuasion. Brother Jack calls... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
At a cafeteria, the narrator examines Brother Jack , a small white man with a bouncy step. He feels that something about Brother... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack offers the narrator a job with his organization, telling him that they need a good... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
The narrator leaves Brother Jack , unsure what to make of him. He is not sure if Jack’s offer is... (full context)
Chapter 14
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...short of money, and he realizes that he cannot realistically turn down the job that Brother Jack has offered him. The narrator looks at the telephone number, realizing that he hadn’t even... (full context)
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Feeling indebted to Mary, the narrator decides to call Brother Jack’s number. He tells Mary that he has to take care of some business, and Mary... (full context)
Dreams and the Unconscious Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack seems unsurprised by the narrator’s phone call, and tells the narrator to meet him as... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack and his group enter the building, and the narrator has the sense that he’s been... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Emma serves a drink to the narrator and to Brother Jack . Jack tells Emma that the narrator simply rose up out of a crowd, and... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
The narrator is asked to join a “business” meeting in the library. Brother Jack explains about the Brotherhood, telling the narrator that the organization’s goal is to work for... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
An unnamed man with a pipe interrupts Brother Jack’s passionate words, asking him to speak more “concretely” and “scientifically.” Brother Jack tells him not... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack inquires about the narrator’s living situation, and the narrator explains his lodgings with Mary. Jack... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...room to socialize. The narrator is introduced to everyone by his new Brotherhood name. As Brother Jack and the narrator go from group to group, the narrator vows to himself that he... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...to sing a spiritual, telling the narrator that he likes the way black people sing. Brother Jack loudly protests that the narrator does not sing. The drunken man keeps pressing, and eventually... (full context)
Chapter 15
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...He needs to settle his account with Mary and buy himself new clothes before calling Brother Jack . (full context)
Chapter 16
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
In the evening, Brother Jack and some others pick up the narrator in a taxi and drive to Harlem. The... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Dreams and the Unconscious Theme Icon
Brother Jack asks if the narrator has looked over the Brotherhood material, and instructs him to listen... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Dreams and the Unconscious Theme Icon
...the narrator looks down the alley and sees three mounted policemen. He decides to let Brother Jack know about their presence. (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
...didn’t trust old Master.” He thinks the same thing about both the roaring crowd and Brother Jack . As the noise rises, Brother Jack ushers the speakers out onto the stage. (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
As the narrator’s speech begins to climax, Brother Jack comes to his side and gives him a small warning not to “end your usefulness... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...the reception is not so positive. The man with the pipe calls the speech “unsatisfactory.” Brother Jack becomes very angry, and the two men argue over the correct way to lead the... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack , visibly upset, asks the other members of the backroom committee what they thought of... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
...He will receive lessons in political theory from Brother Hambro. The narrator is upset, but Brother Jack reassures him, telling him that such a period of “indoctrination” was inevitable. (full context)
Chapter 17
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Four months later, Brother Jack calls up the narrator and takes him on a ride. The narrator is curious where... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Since the speech, the narrator has seen Brother Jack very infrequently. The narrator has been submerged in lessons from Brother Hambro, working harder than... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack asks the narrator how his lessons have gone. Jack tells him to master the Brotherhood’s... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack informs the narrator that he is to become the chief spokesman of the Harlem district... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack decides to show the narrator the offices of the Harlem chapter of the Brotherhood, telling... (full context)
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
The next day, the narrator arrives on time to his first meeting in the offices. Brother Jack is there as well, and notes that everyone is present except for Brother Tod Clifton.... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
...tall, dark, and handsome man enters the meeting, and he is identified as Tod Clifton. Brother Jack asks why he is late, and Clifton replies that he had to see the doctor.... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
...his name. The Brotherhood members tell him that Ras opposes cooperation between blacks and whites. Brother Jack warns Clifton that the Brotherhood is strictly against violence. (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack departs, and the narrator examines the Brotherhood members at his disposal. He can’t quite place... (full context)
Chapter 18
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
...to the Brotherhood’s downtown headquarters, where the mood is serious. In a meeting moderated by Brother Jack , Brother Wrestrum accuses the narrator of using his prominent position in the Brotherhood for... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
The narrator dismisses Wrestrum’s accusations as lies and calls Wrestrum a scoundrel. Brother Jack tells the narrator not to lose his temper, and then instructs him to leave the... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
However, Brother Jack tells the narrator that his name has only been cleared with regard to the interview.... (full context)
Chapter 19
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
...the narrator that she is interested in the Brotherhood’s “spiritual values” and the narrator remembers Brother Jack’s words about wealthy people who donate to the Brotherhood to assuage their guilt. (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
...done lecturing on the “Woman Question.” However, what follows is unexpected: Tod Clifton has disappeared. Brother Jack asks if the narrator knows anything about his disappearance. The narrator answers that he does... (full context)
Chapter 21
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...quickly becomes the refrain of a passionate speech he gives celebrating Clifton. He thinks that Brother Jack wouldn’t approve of the speech’s political content, but that he has no choice but to... (full context)
Chapter 22
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack asks the narrator how the funeral went. The narrator is surprised to learn that Brother... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack and the committee pounce on the narrator’s choice of words, criticizing his use of “personal... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
...to explain the reasoning behind organizing the funeral, but the committee doesn’t want to listen. Brother Jack tells him that the funeral was wrong because Clifton had betrayed the organization by deciding... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Ultimately, Brother Jack informs the narrator that he was not “hired to think.” Jack says that the narrator’s... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack tells the narrator that the committee has decided against demonstrations such as the funeral, telling... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
After hearing the narrator’s report, Brother Jack finally says that the committee’s job is not to ask people what they think, but... (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Brother Jack is infuriated. He leaps to his feet and grips the table. Convulsed by his anger,... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Accordingly, Brother Jack asks if the eye makes the narrator feel uncomfortable. Jack is proud of the eye,... (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Brother Jack puts his glass eye back in. He then asks for the time, and remarks that... (full context)
Chapter 23
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...box to be counted. The narrator feels that he has simply exchanged Mr. Norton for Brother Jack without making any progress whatsoever. (full context)
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...through a woman. Knowing that a party is coming up soon at the Chthonian for Brother Jack’s birthday, the narrator thinks about seducing Emma to gain more information. The narrator confirms to... (full context)
Chapter 24
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
At the Chthonian, Brother Jack’s birthday is celebrated. The narrator tries to approach Emma, but something in her demeanor warns... (full context)
Chapter 25
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...no more men will be born in such an inhumane building. The narrator wonders what Brother Jack would think of a man like Dupre. (full context)
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
The narrator begins to look for Brother Jack , convinced that finding him is the only way to destroy the Brotherhood. As he... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...is the same as the slip that gave him his Brotherhood name. He realizes that Brother Jack was the author of the anonymous note. The narrator begins to scream and accidentally extinguishes... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Power and Self-Interest Theme Icon
Dreams and the Unconscious Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...has a vision of himself as a prisoner of all his past enemies, including Ras, Brother Jack , Mr. Norton, and Dr. Bledsoe. The narrator tells his captors that he is done... (full context)
Epilogue
Identity and Invisibility Theme Icon
Ambition and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...the avant-garde or in the past, but that he’ll leave those decisions to men like Brother Jack . (full context)