Questions and Answers for Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison

What is the theme, setting, and plot in "A Party Down at the Square" by Ralph Ellison?

The setting of this story is actually a small town's main square, "right in front of the court house," in the middle of the night, just as the "old clock in the tower was striking twelve." The...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2019 6:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Ralph Ellison

What is the meaning of this quote?  How does it apply to society today? "Life is to be lived, not controlled; and...

The lines quoted are from the epilogue of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. The title character is trying to sort out the meaning of his experience of invisibility and of “hibernation,” when he cut...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2019 7:48 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Ralph Ellison

Who are the main characters in the story "A Party Down at the Square"?

This story by Ralph Ellison is told in the first person by an unnamed narrator, who recounts experiences he had as a northern boy visiting relatives in the south. The other main character is his...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2019 5:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ralph Ellison

What is the conflict, moment of crisis, and peripety in Ralph Ellison's "A Party Down at the Square"?

The conflict in Ralph Ellison's "A Party Does at the Square" takes the form of the boy character's internal feelings about witnessing the burning of a black man. The narrator (the boy) frames the...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2019 1:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

Ralph Ellison

Do the crowd and the narrator have the same views of the events in "A Party Down at the Square" by Ralph Ellison?

“A Party Down at the Square” took place in the south in the middle of the twentieth century. Ralph Ellison described a scene in a small town that happened too frequently in the south. The...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2013 9:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ralph Ellison

What is the meaning of "square" in the essay?

The work to which I think you're referring is not an essay, but a short story told from the point of view of a white man watching the lynching and public burning of a black man in a public town...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2018 7:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ralph Ellison

Discuss the role of improvisation in "Invisible Man" Discuss the role of improvisation in "Invisible Man"

Having discovered that he is invisible to the white world after repeated attempts to have his own reality acknowledged, Ellison's narrator retreats beneath the streets of New York. There he notes...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2009 12:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ralph Ellison

What literary elements (plot, setting, POV, etc.) did Ralph Ellison use to provoke empathy in “Battle Royal”?

Point of view is the chief literary element Ellison uses to build empathy. It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of point of view in a story. Whoever's eyes we see the story through...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2020 1:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ralph Ellison

Compare and contrast Ralph Ellison's view of the South with William Faulkner's from "A Rose for Emily".

Ellison's overriding opinion about the South, or any region, relates to identities and is that our identities are not a result of "geography," meaning not the result of pressures from our...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2011 6:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ralph Ellison

What is Ralph Ellison's assessment of the South?

While we can't know if Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man perfectly encapsulates the author's views, his assessment of the South in this novel appears extensively bleak. His deeply critical depiction of...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2020 5:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer