A critique of Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison Essay

A critique of Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison Essay

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For the purpose of research and measurement of the scholars interpretive analysis skills, the scholar has chosen to critique work by Ralph Ellison entitled “Battle Royal”. In this paper, one will find what it means to be invisible. I argue from two different perspectives regarding who is invisible in the novel, and to whom those revealed persons are invisible to. Revealed will also be themes discovered throughout the story along with the authors use of irony that’s revealed in the work. In this work one will find supporting text from scholars who have taken issue with stereotyping, race relations in society along with one’s who have also critiqued Ellison’s work.
​Some common themes found in the work are self-discovery and invisibility. In “Battle Royal” readers are recipients of the central message self-discovery when one comes in familiarity with the part in text reading “I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man” (Ellison 2395). Readers can see how the narrator was faced with conflict several times throughout the work in his path to discovering his true self. Readers find themselves being recipients of the central message of invisibility when the narrator reveals the M.C.’s statement before allowing him to conduct his speech saying “ ‘I’m told that he is the smartest boy we’ve go out there in Greenwood. I’m told that he knows more big words than a pocket-sized dictionary’ ” (Ellison 2402). In this text the scholar believes that narrator constructed the text in such a way to reveal that to the in the novel, the narrator was invisible and he only became visible when someone else’s perception of him was revealed. Invisibility is again revealed in the section of the text where the narrator descr...


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...e can safely say that it was only the black who were invisible in the novel, and that they were only invisible to those individuals they deceived for survival. On another end, one could agree with the scholar’s notion that everyone is invisible.










Works Cited Page





1. Swan, Alex. Survival and Progress: The Afro-American Experience. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1981. Print.
2. Ellison, Ralph. Battle Royal. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. P. 2395-2405. Fairfield Medium.
3. Nash, Russell. Stereotypes and Social Types in Ellison’s Invisible Man. The Sociological Quarterly. Vol. 6, No. 4 (1965): 349-360. JSTOR. Web. 10 April 2014.
4. Lane, James. Underground to Manhood: Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Negroe American Literature Forum. Vol. 7, No. 2 (1973): JSTOR. Web. 10 April 2014

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