Black Culture Motif


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  • In this scene, the narrator was ordering breakfast and the white waiter assumed what the narrator wanted based off his skin color. This connects to the motif of black culture because blacks are stereotyped into eating certain food and those food became apart of the black culture.
  • "I've got something good for you.. Porkchops, grits, one egg, hot biscuits and coffee.. that ought to excite you, boy' (Ellison 178)
  • In this scene Blesdoe was threathing the narrator by punishing him with a slave shackle. This connects to the motif of black culture because the shackle connects to the struggle that blacks had to go through and people feel the only way to punish blacks is to place them back in slavery.
  • "Old leg shackle from slavery... symbol of our progress..You've got to be disciplined boy" (Ellison 141).
  • In this scene the veteran was giving his wisdom about being black to the narrator. This wisdom connects to the motif of black culture because it shows what blacks have to do in order to be successful in white America. And that wisdom is to play dumb but don't be dumb.
  • " You don't have to be a complete fool in order to succeed" (Ellison 153).
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