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King of the Bingo Game

King of the Bingo Game

by Ralph Ellison

Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Then, as though he had come down from a high hill into a valley of people, he heard the audience yelling. (43)

The protagonist has retreated so far into his own head and his own thoughts that he has completely dissociated himself from his surroundings.

Quote #2

The last voice was not unfriendly, and he turned and smiled dreamily into the yelling mouths. Then he turned his back squarely on them. (47)

This marks the protagonist's deliberate rejection of the crowd.

Quote #3

Those folks did not understand what had happened to him. They had been playing the bingo game day in and night out for years, trying to win rent money or hamburger change. But not one of those wise guys had discovered this wonderful thing. (49)

Only the protagonist has made the cognitive leap to understanding the wheel as a matter of life or death – and that it can be controlled.

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