A Party Down At The Square Analysis

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To be able to understand Ellison’s use of irony it is important to keep in mind the point of view in which the short fictions are written in to see the good society. Ellison’s first short story, A Party Down at the Square, tells of the lynching of an African American male during a storm, that is seen through the, “kind of innocent, child’s eye, first-person point of view” (Rodgers) making little of the situation. While an adult would know of the severity of the situation and all the events occurring, the narrator thought, “all that in one night, and all of the storm over one nigger” (Ellison, Flying Home and Other Stories 11), showing the innocent and ironic point of view the narrator provides by blaming the storm on the African American who…show more content…
Riley is the one who tends to have an active imagination and Buster encourages him regardless of how ridiculous his thoughts are. A good example of their relationship is shown in That I had Wings where Riley looks at a baby Robin that is reluctant to take flight and calls him a fool for not flying. If they had the chance the boys would fly in an instant because, “‘them pigeons don’t belong to the church. Don’t nobody own ‘em’” (Ellison, Flying Home and Other Stories 46), and therefore are completely free. Flying to the boys symbolizes a means of escape, escape from their aunt, and the rest of the problematic society. Upon further thought, Riley imagines how lonely it would be up in the open sky alone but, with a “sense of freedom, they imagined they [could] do anything and everything which other boys did” (Mellard), even if they were somehow caught by society’s traps they would find a way to escape together. Unlike Riley and Buster, another African American in Flying Home actually achieved flight only to come tumbling to the ground in shame. Todd, an African American aviator, crashed his plane due to a buzzard only to be saved by Jefferson, a friendly old black tenant farmer who is seen as shameful for accepting slave work. Jefferson tells Todd a story of the time he had wings where, ‘“colored folks had to wear a…show more content…
Given the multiple perspectives in Flying Home and Other Stories, it is up to the reader to see the positive aspects among the negatively portrayed society Ellison depicts to comprehend the value of friends and support. At times the perspective of an innocent child is needed to understand society, since they are yet to be heavily influenced by previous experiences. It is through the contrast between the good and bad that clouds themes and distort the characters causing Ellison’s works to be controversial and reliant on the individual. By creating the controversial societies Ellison succeeds in outlining the importance of the positive aspects needed to create them that are often forgotten due to the negative perceptions of a
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