Ralph Ellison Writing Styles in King of the Bingo Game

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"King of the Bingo Game" utilizes a third-person narrator who is inside the consciousness of the Bingo King. The narrator relates the Bingo King's thoughts and his memories. At first, the narration is relentlessly realistic, and almost naturalistic in its depiction of the mind of a poor, downtrodden, yet still-hopeful man. The introduction of his sick wife into the narrative gives the story a melodramatic tone.

However, as the story continues, the realism lessens and the narration approximates the consciousness of the Bingo King, becoming a mouthpiece for him as he is taken over by the power of the bingo wheel. "This is God! This is the really truly God!" the narrator tells us. "He was reborn. For as long as he pressed the button he was The-man-who-pressed-the-button-who-held-the-prize-who-was-the-King-of-Bingo." But as the story ends, the narrative voice recedes, and as the power of the wheel...

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This section contains 585 words
(approx. 2 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.