Battle Royal By Ralph Ellison English Literature Essay

"Battle Royal, " by Ralph Ellison depicts the storyline of young DARK-COLORED man preventing his way through life. Ellison explores the symbolism of a young African American who desires to be understood for his accomplishments not the color of his epidermis. P1

The son in this tale challenges with the last words of his dying grandfather

Son, after I'm vanished I want you to maintain the good struggle. I never informed you, but our life is a warfare and I have been a traitor all my born days and nights, a spy in the enemy's country since I gave up my gun back the Reconstruction. Live with your mind in the lion's oral cavity. I want you to conquer 'em with yeses, undermine 'em with grins, recognize 'em to death and damage, let 'em swoller you till they vomit or bust widely open. " (244)

The old man's dying wish was designed for them to remain quiet, keep your mind down, agree with the white man, and you'll endure this life. P2

The strong words of his grandfather haunt him to the point that he practices the rules without endeavoring to. The son does not desire to be a shadow contrary to the wall, but to perform honorable things in his life time. It makes it very hard for son to ignore who he's, a dark man in a white man's world. P3

The young man gave his honored graduation speech and in turn is requested to give the speech again in for the town's leading white people. However, this flip of events does not begin the way that he blueprints nor wants. P4

When the young African American man enters the hall where he is to give his talk, he comes to discover that he as well as some of his schoolmates will be taking part in some battles called the battle royal. This fight royal of course will occur before the speech. The ten men did not care for each other, and this seemed to start out the tension before the fights even started out. The other men who accompanied him seemed bigger and more likely to struggle than he was. All of the young DARK-COLORED man could think of was to complete this deal with, and then he could give his speech. This would go to show the readers that above all else, he wants to achieve success. P5

The men are herded to the hall to watch a Caucasian woman dance. Some of the men are told to watch and others are told never to. This reflects the power that Caucasian's still have over African American's such a long time after slavery is finished. The woman danced little by little and then began to move faster with the music as the drunken Caucasian men started to assault her and toss her as if it was a mosh-pit at a rock and roll concert. This establish the level for a frantic nights for the African American men who have been about to struggle. At this time, the majority of the better more able men were reluctant and crying that they wished to go back home. The dance sequence appeared to put worries into them. P6

The men were blindfolded and advised to beat each other and if indeed they didn't they would be hurt. As the men stood in the attack ring using their blind folds on they could notice the voice with their university superintendent yelling racial profanities at them. Then the starting bell was rung, and "it was complete anarchy" (247). The ten men were struggling with for his or her lives. All the while, the white men were shouting for them to kill the other person and to overcome each other. The author explores the battle in such depth, it certainly makes you feel as though you have there been, sensing every punch and fear that the men believed. This again shows the control that the white men have in the African People in america. P7

Throughout the struggling even in the end the young DARK-COLORED still thought of his speech, and how these fights were not a true picture of who he was. By the end of the grueling battles he was knocked out. The men were then set up and required to kneel on the ground where their payment laid. These were told they might have what they could grab. The ground was electrified. However this did not stop the men from the humiliating circumstances of grabbing the coins. P8

Finally, the son could give his talk. However, how he was released seemed condescending. During his speech he was mocked and laughed at, however, he completed, he done with an psychological intelligence that few men could understand. The young man was given a token of gratitude from the white men. He thought this to be an award for being such a smart young man who offered a great conversation. However, the white men supposed it as a bribe to "lead his people in the correct paths" (252). They also gave him a school scholarship in hopes that he'll forever be in their personal debt. These works symbolize the manipulation that the white men still got over the young BLACK. P9

"It required me quite a while and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to attain a realization everybody else appears to have been born with: WHICH I am nobody but myself" (243). Eventually the young DARK-COLORED came to the realization this manipulation and found himself. P10


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