Ellison Reseach Paper Quotes

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Research Paper Quotes

1) “The dynamic of the novel stems from the hero's struggle with himself to acknowledge the legitimacy of his heritage in the face of constant attacks by the white community or its allies in the society of Negroes” (Bluestein 1). I

2) “…In order to acknowledge his existence as a man, the hero must first accept the folk legacy of his people; having attained this position, he will discover his identity as an American...” (Bluestein 1). I

3) “Ellison allows the Golden Day to assume still another symbolic identity—that of the Negro mind. Supercargo, the veterans' guard and overseer from the asylum, becomes the “superego” of Ellison's symbolic architecture. …Bellowing “I WANT ORDER” from the top of the stairs and kicking the vets back as they rush up to the whores' rooms, mimicking the act of mental suppression.

He [Supercargo] is also the representative of the white's mental manipulation of black aspirations. For he wears a “white suit” and “white shorts” and, when white folks are in the house, ‘[he] wan's double order.’ “ (Brennan 3). III

4) “A white-controlled Brotherhood (resembling not just the Communist Party but any thought-control group) seeks to transform him into an unquestioning mouthpiece for its party line, but this work is resented by the black nationalist Ras, who vows to kill the narrator for betraying his race” (French 1). II

5) “The narrator receives the most painful of many wounds when Bledsoe expels him permanently for not knowing how to lie to whites in order to protect the tiny empire Bledsoe has obsequiously created” (French 1). I

6) “The young black men are also depicted as animals, subtly at first, as they are “crowded together into the servants' elevator” (like cattle) and “led out of the elevator” into the hall” (German 1). I

7) “In “Battle Royal,” the boxing ring symbolizes the blacks' being socially confined” (German 2). III

8) “…At the paint factory, IM must mix a few drops of black chemical into a cream-colored base to make white paint, a symbol suggesting a social truism—that racial color is most noticeable when contrasted” (German 2). III

9) “He cannot know himself because he is altogether too ready to try the roles he is offered, especially the role of leader of his people. … The absence of recognition in the world around him deprives him not only of visible identity but also of a stable inner sense of self” (Langman 3). All

10) “The invisible man's affirmation at the end is meaningless, not because the novel has shown the impossibility of responsible action but because he has no specific idea of what a responsible role might be” (Langman 4). I

11) “Ellison employs the bingo game to depict life as a risk and a gamble, the nameless protagonist to reflect the social invisibility Blacks experience daily, and the bingo wheel to exemplify the powerlessness of Blacks in America” (Saunders 1). III

12) “The hero, “feeling a profound sense of promise, as though he is about to be repaid for all he has suffered all his life,” proclaims himself king of the bingo game. Perhaps now he can gain freedom, continuation of love, and individuality, and a positive self-image; he is no longer life's scapegoat, but a real person” (Saunders 1). III

13) “Certainly, the bingo game is symbolic of the black hero's experiences in white America, because his experiences require a certain amount of risk and determination. Even with certain advantages the chances of obtaining visibility are very rare” (Saunders 2). III

14) “In addition, Ellison's symbolic employment of an unnamed protagonist represents the namelessness, the invisibility, or lack of identity experienced by the black American. Ellison appropriately places his hero in a darkened theatre…” (Saunders 2). III

15) “Folks down South stuck together that way; they didn't even have to know you. But up here it is different. Ask somebody for something, and they'll think you are crazy. It’s like they don't know you