Ellison's Battle Royal Essay

998 words - 4 pages

Reader ResponseEllison's "Battle Royal"In Battle Royal, Ellison shows us various things to bring our attention to the painthe minority group suffered. In doing this Ellison shows us relationships between thetorment they felt to our feelings for them. When the boys enter the boxing ring, they areshown off like animals. The woman dancing represents the sick pleasure derived from theboys' torture. Ellison shows us a picture of the human mind, in seeing something to lustafter then watching young men being beaten nearly to death as a form of entertainment.He does this to show us a view of human nature.In oppression to the torment the boys developed a sort of counter attack. Theboys were so eager for the the fake money that they suffered electric shocks to grab it. Ithink this sort of surprised the audience, beings that the boys never gave up the fight. Itwas as thought giving up would have meant giving up much more than money or a boxingmatch. It would have been a loss of dignity and pride, none of them wanted to lose that.Also, by the time the boys were given the chance to chase the money, they were numbfrom pain. I don't think the new torture methods were really affecting the boys. Theirbodies became somewhat immune to the blows after awhile.My battle royal was a little bit different from the boys in the story. I did not reallysuffer from outside torment. The battle I faced was mostly inside myself. People didn'thave to say anything and I would be judging myself and putting myself down. Like theboys in the boxing ring fighting one another, I would have to fight with my own feelings toovercome things. Each time I made a decision I had to be critical about what was goodand bad for myself. Even if I didn't do anything wrong I blamed myself for things thatwould go wrong.My battle with low self esteem was an ongoing problem. It pretty much got to thepoint where I didn't even realize I was doing it to myself anymore. The words I said,although not all true, I believed completely. I had put myself down so much, thatcomplements were never taken seriously. I tried to break my habit of putting myself downby setting goals for myself. This helped a little but I honestly don't think I wanted helpback then.Finally it got to the point where I knew I had to do something. This was the timewhen I felt most powerless. I didn't think I had any control over how I felt. Half the timeI couldn't decipher whether I was happy or sad. I began to scare myself because of it. Iwould think, does this make me happy. I couldn't even think of an answer, it was thestrangest feeling I have ever had. Not knowing if you are happy or sad, seems odd Iknow.One day I came to the...

Find Another Essay On Ellison's Battle Royal

Cruelty and Racism in the "Battle Royal" by Ralph Elison

553 words - 2 pages "Cruelty and Racism in "Battle Royal"Battle Royal is the first chapter in a novel called "The Invisible Man." "Ralph Ellison," who lived 1914 - 1994, based this novel on the life of a young black man, the narrator, living in the world of cruel racism. The narrator's life was a fine example of racism. The white people, in this story, are merciless and malicious. Ellison's definition of racism incorporates a high degree of cruelty; he tells how

Invisible Man is an Important Literary Work

1764 words - 7 pages has a dream the same night of the battle royal, in which he imagines that his scholarship is actually a piece of paper reading “To Whom It May Concern . . . Keep This Nigger-Boy Running.” There are different moods throughout this novel. Mood can be extremely powerful because of its capacity to evoke associations in the reader's imagination. The mood of the novel is surreal and sometimes nightmarish. In fact, the dream serves as a motif that is

Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison

1489 words - 6 pages Ellison's position as an enlightened commentator on African American issues, while serving as a precursor to what is arguably his best work, Invisible Man. "Battle Royal" is an expertly crafted allegory illustrating the African American community's painful pilgrimage to overcome the oppressive attitudes and unfounded fears of an overtly racist and segregated South.   Ellison uses the horrifying experiences of the narrator, a young black

Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"

761 words - 3 pages From the excerpt "Battle Royal" in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Ellison uses the unnamed protagonist to give an in depth illustration of the negative effects of racism and segregation. The unnamed protagonist is propelled from living according to the perceptions of what he believes he is and is trying to survive in a society where he is not supposed to exist none the less, thrive.The Invisible Man's blindness and invisibility is not solely

Ethnicity, Invisibility, and Self-Creation in Invisible Man

3529 words - 14 pages . Exploitation and subjugation testify to the degeneracy of the nation as a whole. The degradation of the African-Americans links up with the decline of other relations as well. The abuse of the youths at the battle royal scene, for example, parallels the victimization of woman (for a white woman is stripped naked and used to taunt the Black man's desire). Trueblood's incest, a result of white oppression, pointedly signal the white man's own perversion

Essay on the book Invisible man

2248 words - 9 pages remains nameless because he undergoes many rebirths, where a new public self emerges. Invisible man’s first encounter with ridicule by whites is in the Battle Royal. He arrives to deliver a speech on social responsibility but he ends up in the middle of a huge fight with other young black men. “The theme is that of emergent identity. But the adolescents in the Battle Royal never achieve their identity for…they are finally cast in the

Racism in Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison

1155 words - 5 pages short story "Battle Royal". In it the author allows us to see the world through the eyes of a young black boy who is struggling to succeed in a predominantly white society. The thing that is absolutely essential to our understanding of the story is the understanding of this "rich" character. In this study I will try to analyze some of his traits (invisibility-lack of indentity , blindness) and his journey from idealism to a grim realism about the

Critical Analysis: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

2093 words - 8 pages and whiskey and smoking black cigars” to share with them his renowned graduation oration (Ellison 17). It was a chance for him to finally show the men who held power just who he was and what he was capable of, it was a chance for him to establish his identity. However, shortly after his arrival, the Invisible Man was informed that “since [he] was to be there anyway [he] might as well take part in the battle royal to be fought by some of [his

Aesthetics of Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

1204 words - 5 pages construct in Chapter 25. Both images imply sinking -- the first a kind of heavy, dreamy floating, the second a physical descent made all the more bizarre because the reader remembers the first. Thus a dreamlike escape through a tunnel ripples with a similar, shimmering dreamscape.   The prologue is but a page or two away from the "Battle Royal" incident, where the narrator procures a briefcase, which is also connected to the dream of the

Booker T. Washington In Invisible Man

1692 words - 7 pages ;em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open" (Ellison, Invisible 16). These words shape TIM's mind to even think of himself as a "potential Booker T. Washington" (Ellison, Invisible 17). Washington's influence on the young man's thoughts can also be seen as early on as the battle royal, when TIM recites a Booker T. Washington speech almost word for word, "We of the younger generations extol the wisdom of that great leader and

The Narrator's Metamorphosis in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

2965 words - 12 pages role humility plays in progress, prominent members of the community invite him to recite the speech once again "at a gathering of the town's leading white citizens" (17). At the meeting, though, the high-ranked members of the community force the narrator and other black boys to participate in what the narrator terms a "battle royal," in which they fight each other and attempt to pull fake plastic coins from an electric rug. The narrator proceeds

Similar Essays

The Tone And Style Of Ralph Ellison's Battle Royal

962 words - 4 pages A short analysis of the major theme found in Ellison’s Battle Royal, supported by a literary criticism dealing with the tone and style of the story. Introduction: Ralph Ellison’s short story, Battle Royal, is mainly an account of the African American struggle for equality and identity. The narrator of the story is an above average youth of the African American community [Goldstein-Shirlet, 1999]. He is given an opportunity to give a speech

The Common Of Ellison's Battle Royal And Hemingway's Soldier's Home

1562 words - 7 pages in both the past with the present to create a twist on the future of the main characters. “Soldier's Home,” by Ernest Hemingway, and “Battle Royal,” by Ralph Ellison, are both short- fictional stories sharing a common literary characteristic of character development, influenced by the other characters and events in the story. In each of the short stories, the authors create an individual perception and description of the characters’ background

The Fight For Equality In Ralph Ellison's Battle Royal

1198 words - 5 pages Merriam-Webster defines battle royal as “a fight participated in by more than two combatants; especially: one in which the last man in the ring or on his feet is declared the winner.” In Ralph Ellison’s short story, “Battle Royal”, the theme most prevalent throughout the narrative is, “The Fight for Equality in a White, Male-Driven Society.” The author’s use of symbolism in the narrative supports this idea. Such things as the grandfather’s curse

Seeds Of Rebellion Essay

645 words - 3 pages group of black boys forced into a gladiatorial "battle royal" event. Ellison again shows his narrator's conformity by allowing him to concede to the wishes of the whites. With luck and a little deception, Ellison's narrator becomes one of only two boys left in the ring. Here we see a small rebellion as the narrator allows the blindfold, which had previously kept him at a disadvantage during the fight, to become askew thus providing him with the