King of the Bingo Game Essay

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In the following essay, Chaffee discusses the symbolism of the "slippery stage" and the "slippery brink" that the narrator of "King of the Bingo Game "feels himself to be on, which is indicative of his mental condition.

The Black man in Ralph Ellison's "King of the Bingo Game" crosses a "slippery stage"; he feels himself standing on a "slippery brink," left on a "slippery hill." In his efforts to escape from the police officers who will both free him and crush him, he dashes forward, "slipping and sliding." To express the protagonist's elusion of the officers, Ellison says "he slipped them ...." After receiving a blow on the head, the bingo player knew his luck had "slipped out of him." This repetition of the words "slip" and "slippery" is no accident. On the contrary, by this means Ellison, who uses words like a poet, points to the heart of...

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This section contains 1,313 words
(approx. 4 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.