The black were symbolic and was represented as objects used to entertain the whites. Ellison uses many symbols in Battle Royal to demonstrate the lack of black equality. The battle also represents the lack of freedom the narrator had, he was forced into a fight without any say. The stripper represents the amount of control the white men had over the blacks.
Recall that in the s, blacks were heavily discriminated; many blacks would have been persecuted for sight of a white woman. The narrator felt guilt and fear and was not sure how to react. My teeth chattered, my skin turned to goose flesh, my knees knocked. The naked woman also symbolizes the confusion of the narrator, he is not sure how to react and this symbolizes his uncertainty in his role of society.
The white blindfold represents how blacks were being brainwashed by the whites into the mindset of a white dominated society.
The naked woman also symbolizes the lack of respect shown to women at this time of white male dominance. The American flag tattoo on the naked woman symbolized how a stripper had more social status than a black man.
The tattoo also symbolizes the American Dream and the American paradigm. The American Dream defines the American culture and is used to describe the social status of a man in the American society. Ellison uses symbols from Battle Royal to describe the American Dream. The American flag tattoo on the naked woman shows represents the American Dream that can be achieved by anyone.
However, the narrator is very close achieving the American Dream only to have it taken away from him. The narrator had been given a chance at the American Dream only to be fooled when discovered the fake coins and electrocuted. I tried frantically to remove my hand but could not let go. A hot violent force tore through my body, shaking me like a wet rat. The narrator had been shocked not just physically but mentally. He was uncertain of this shock as it had hurt him.
The promise of the American Dream was only a set of lies. The narrator had only been used to entertain the whites. But my body was slippery and he was too drunk. The narrator is being thrown onto the rug to be electrocuted, just to satisfy the entertainment of the whites. There was no American Dream for the blacks, only a fixed chance that would always favor the whites as the blacks were used for entertainment when shocked on the rug. The narrator described in the story directly correlates to the life Ellison lived.
The naked woman symbolized the amount of control whites had in society and how many women were disrespected whether white or black.
Ellison also discusses the American Dream through the use of symbols including the electrified rugs and coins. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time been ashamed. What did this mean? Why did his grandfather say this before dying and why did it mean so much to him now?
The narrator had taken on the traits of his grandfather and this bothered him greatly when something good transpired in his life. Throughout the novel we enter into the thoughts of the narrator. We are made aware that his cockiness stems first from him being praised by the white men of the town. Later in the novel when the narrator is to participate in the battle royal we see again how he looks at himself as better than the other boys there with him to fight. The narrator himself questioned whether or not fighting would take away from the dignity of his speech, but even after being bruised badly he became upset having believed he would not be allowed to deliver his speech to the audience.
I was not to get a chance to deliver my speech, I thought. I was going out into the dim alley in despair … p. His cockiness exceeds itself now more than before because he received praise from his family and neighbors. His grandfather comes to him in a dream to warn him but the narrator was unable to interrupt the dream until he went to college. In retrospect the narrator was an egotistical young man who showed too much self-pride and not enough dignity for his people.
He allows himself to get so caught up in the praise and acceptance from the white men that he distances himself from people of color and see himself as a superior.
Conclusively, not only did he stoke his ego and arrogantly looked down on others through his actions, his inner thoughts revealed this personality and attitude to the reader also.
- In Ralph Ellison’s essay “Battle Royal” he describes a Negro boy, timid and compliant, comes to a white smoker in a Southern town: he is to be awarded a scholarship. Together with several other Negroes .
Battle royal essays"Battle Royal" as a Symbol for Racial Inequality Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal" is symbolic of the African American struggle for equality after the abolition of slavery. The various hardships that the narrator must endure in his quest to deliver his spee.
Ralph Ellison - Battle Royal Thematic Essay Chris Reinert English 6/4/12 Mr. Jakubowski “Battle Royal” Racism was a harsh reality for African Americans after the American slave era and is a prominent theme in the short story “Battle Royal”. Keywords: battle royal analysis, battle royal poem analysis Rope-a-dope is a precarious boxing strategy first introduced by Muhammad Ali against George Foreman in the Heavyweight Championship match held on October 30, , in Kinsasha, Zaire.
Free college essay on The Battle Royal: An archetypal initiation story involves a protagonist, of a specific culture, sorting through a personal battle of good versus evil. In order to combat unethical or immoral practices, the protagonist must find, within himself, a way to make the change. Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now!