The literary work of Ralph Ellison is among the most studied and the most controversial. In the context of African-American writers Ellison is both revered and despised for the manner in which he wrote (or failed to write) concerning the question of race. His essay "The World and the Jug" written in 1963 explores the important topic of race and the functions of literature. The purpose of this discussion is to explain how Ellison relates to my concepts of the Civil Rights and the Black Arts Movements.

"The World and the Jug"

Ellison's "The World and the Jug" is basically a response to criticisms written by Irving Howe about Ellison's perceived failure to write protest fiction. This criticism is one that Ellison received throughout his lifetime. The criticism was mainly present because of the way that other writers such as Richard Wright and James Baldwin wrote about race in...
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