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Bingo King by Ralph EllisonHawes 1An Icon The Bingo King Ralph Waldo Ellison provides us with a quite literal black-and-white opposite of the American ideal presented by the white authors in the 1950s African-Americans were reliant on white America for a cultural and material identity because of their forced arrival to this new land Ellisons title character in his short story King of the Bingo Game acts as a post-modern icon to the mockery of their seemingly hopeless destinies Ellisons story is of a poor African-American man who achieves hope and more importantly financial independence or hopes to through a bingo game He is drawn to the game by hopelessness despair and a need to pay for an operation for his beloved Laura The Bingo Kings world is filled with suspicion and distrust of the system that surrounds him We glimpse this view from the experiences in his everyday life from the movie to the bingo game The experiences of the Bingo King shape his characteristics that are important to the story Mostly the maincharacteristics of the Bingo King are his hopeless dispair from losing his dreamsdisillusions by the American ideal and the feeling of having no control of his destiny Hawes 2 As Ellisons story continues the Bingo King proceeds to win the contest that he had for weeks attended At this point he feels happy but nervous from disbelief By definition he cannot be successful in the white world For his advancement in this world he must step free of the past remove himself from the audience the masses When the Bingo King has won his place on stage he notices that he has now broken through the barrier of his past disappointment knowing the ritual from the many days and nights he had watched the winners march across the stage to press the button that controlled the spinning wheel and receive the prizes And now he followed
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