King of the Bingo Game Essay

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In the following essay, Sounders describes some of the symbols in "King of the Bingo Game," such as the double zero and the other instances of invisibility, which help to create the theme of "powerlessness of Blacks in America."

Ralph Ellison's short story, "King of the Bingo Game," recounts the experiences of an unnamed black man who struggles to survive to be recognized in an environment that insists on catering to his invisibility. This nameless man lashes out against the restrictive and stultifying aspects of his victimized black life style. Faced with a dying wife, Laura, who needs adequate medical care, he engages in a bingo game held at a moviehouse, hoping to win money to defray the medical expenses. Subsequently, he receives the winning bingo card. However, in order to win the jackpot of $36.90, the bingo wheel must stop between the double zero, symbolic of his invisibility...

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This section contains 1,853 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the King of the Bingo Game Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
King of the Bingo Game from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.