One of the most important aspects of Trudy’s role is her ability to provide emotional support to Adah, who endures numerous hardships as an immigrant and as a woman in a patriarchal society. Trudy encourages Adah not to give up on her dreams and ambitions, serving as a source of inspiration and motivation. She symbolizes the potential for women to uplift and empower each other in the face of societal constraints.

Furthermore, Trudy’s own life choices present Adah with alternative paths and possibilities. Trudy chooses a different route than Adah, embracing her sexual freedom and prioritizing her own happiness and wellbeing. Through Trudy’s experiences, Adah is exposed to different ways of being a woman, challenging the traditional societal expectations placed upon her.

Trudy also serves as a stark contrast to Adah’s husband, Francis. While Francis embodies the oppressive and patriarchal norms within the society, Trudy represents a counter-narrative and a defiance of those norms. Her refusal to conform to societal expectations empowers Adah to question her own circumstances and seek a better life for herself.

As the story progresses, Trudy’s character brings to light the themes of self-discovery and the pursuit of personal freedom. Her presence highlights the limitations placed upon women, particularly in a male-dominated society like the one depicted in the novel. Trudy’s boldness and unwillingness to compromise her autonomy stand as a testament to the resilience of women who refuse to be confined by societal roles.

Overall, Trudy’s significance in the development of the novel lies in her role as a supportive friend and a symbol of empowerment for Adah. By challenging traditional norms and presenting alternative possibilities, she encourages Adah to find her own voice and assert her agency. Trudy’s character provides a lens through which the reader can explore the themes of gender inequality, societal pressures, and individual liberation.


Mrs. Mary Rambo serves as a maternal figure and a source of support for the narrator, who remains nameless throughout the story. When the narrator arrives in Harlem after being expelled from college, he is homeless and disoriented. Mrs. Rambo takes him in, provides him with a place to stay, and treats him with kindness and generosity. She helps him regain his physical and emotional well-being, offering him stability and a sense of belonging in a chaotic environment.

Moreover, Mrs. Rambo symbolizes the resilience and strength of Black women in the face of adversity. Despite her own struggles and the limitations imposed by a racially segregated society, she remains determined to improve her life and help others along the way. Her character represents the resilience and endurance of Black people as they navigate through systemic racism and oppression.

Additionally, Mrs. Rambo represents the embodiment of true humanity and connection. She sees beyond the superficial differences and societal expectations, treating the narrator as an individual rather than reducing him to his race or social status. Her acceptance and unconditional support challenge the prevailing notions of racial superiority and hierarchy in a society filled with prejudices.

Furthermore, Mrs. Rambo’s role also functions as a critique of the white savior narrative. While Mrs. Rambo is a source of aid and support for the narrator, she is not portrayed as a passive servant or a subservient figure. Instead, she asserts her own agency and maintains her dignity throughout the novel. She is a self-sufficient and assertive woman who resists being reduced to a mere auxiliary character within someone else’s narrative.

In conclusion, Mrs. Mary Rambo serves as a multifaceted character in “Invisible Man.” She symbolizes maternal love, resilience, humanity, and resistance against oppressive systems. Her character challenges traditional stereotypes and offers a counter-narrative to the prevailing societal dynamics, making her an essential element in Ellison’s exploration of race, identity, and the quest for selfhood.


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