''Repent, Harlequin!'' Said the Ticktockman Essay

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Henningfeld is a professor of English literature at Adrian College who writes widely on literary topics for academic and educational publications. In this essay, Henningfeld identifies the ways that Ellison exploits the archetype of the Trickster through the character of the Harlequin, through the narrator of the story, and through his own role as writer of the tale.

"'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" is a deceptively simple tale. It is clearly a parable, a short illustrative story intended to teach a moral lesson. Set in a surreal future world where workers ride to work on moving sidewalks and everyone dresses alike, the characters of the story are more types than personalities.

Ellison draws on an established tradition to create his main characters: the Italian commedia dell'arte, a theatrical form that flourished throughout Europe from the late Middle Ages through the 18th century. In the commedia dell'arte...

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This section contains 1,846 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the ''Repent, Harlequin!'' Said the Ticktockman Study Guide
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