King Of The Bingo Game Analysis

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Ellison’s Introduction Paragraph for King of the Bingo Game
The first paragraph of any story is arguably the most important element. It should capture the attention of the reader, as well as begin to develop the most important elements of the story. Ralph Ellison’s captivating introduction paragraph for “King of the Bingo Game”, is an emotionally involved depiction of a nameless African American man who was a member of the United States Black Migration from South to North. Written in an indirectly detailed style and strewn with images evoking pathetic feelings, this passage is key in characterizing the main character and snatches the attention of the audience. Ellison’s use of changes in point of view and use of allusions subtly communicates
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The nameless man repeats the phrase “I ain’t crazy,” (251) as if continuously trying to convince himself that what he’s saying is true. But in the following passage the narrator says “And yet a pinpoint of doubt was focused in his mind…,” (251) which provokes the thought that maybe this man has been driven crazy from poverty, a dying wife, and oppression. These subtle hints in this first passage foreshadow the man's gradual descent into complete madness in the later parts of the story. Every word is significant in a short story, thus a phrase that seems to be just filler at first, is always something more. With seemingly unimportant phrases Ellison further develops the man’s mental instability. The idea of his insanity is again induced when the narrator tells the audience that the man “had seen the picture three times,” (251). This a bizarre statement so casually thrown into the passage, but holds a significant amount of importance in characterization. Lastly, the man laughs when the woman is shown on screen “tied to a bed, her legs and arms spread wide, and her clothing torn to rags,” (251). The actions the man makes are out of place. The picture projected onto the screen is not one of humor, but one of misfortune and violence, and the man laughs. These two phrases subtly hint at the man's slowly increasing insanity and foreshadow his mental break later in the
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