Themes In King Of The Bingo Game

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In the short story, “King of the Bingo Game”, published in 1944, Ralph Ellison explains a man’s brief journey to attain freedom from his oppressing and segregating society, while economically assisting his ailing wife. He is granted the opportunity to control his destiny and alter his life forever. He portrays the hope of endless possibilities, as well as anticipated control over one’s future. In the other short story, “The Lesson”, published in 1960, Toni Cade Bambara explores the concept of social and economic injustice during the Civil Rights Movement period. Both of these literary works encompass the theme of predominating one’s destiny to be liberated from a socially and economic society during an era of segregation in American history.
In Ralph Ellison's "King of the Bingo Game", the African American narrator, whose name is unknown, finds himself in a position where he has the power to control his own destiny for once, or so he thinks. The reader learns that he is from the South, but has come up North, and is taking his shot at a bingo game. He is broke, hungry, his wife is dying, and he hopes to win the cash prize of $36.90 to help her. He eventually is called up to spin the wheel for a chance at the prize, but he freezes, and doesn't let go of the button. This is despite the fact that he explained how a short, quick press can land a winning double zero. He calls himself the "king of the bingo game" and keeps holding down the button until two officers drag him off

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