The tone of Invisible Man is both frank and sardonic. The novel is frank in its portrayal of the conflict between white and Black communities that persists nearly one hundred years after the abolition of slavery in the United States. The sardonic aspect of the novel’s tone comes across in its grimly mocking frustration over the many forms racism in U.S. society that make racism all-pervasive and seemingly impossible to eradicate. The reader can detect the novel’s simultaneously frank and sardonic tone from its opening lines. When the narrator declares his status as an “invisible man,” he carefully explains that he is referring to a particular social and psychological condition that prevents others in his society from being able to see who he really is. The analysis the narrator provides here shows his desire to be understood, and to describe matters exactly as he sees them. Yet the narrator has also retreated to an underground cellar. Removed from society, he takes a cynical and sometimes mocking stance toward it. Only at the end of the novel does the narrator consider rejoining society.