Analysis Of The Poem ' Battle Royal ' Essay

Analysis Of The Poem ' Battle Royal ' Essay

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At some point of our lives, we all go through a journey of self-discovery. Our identity is formed by various interactions with our parents and other groups we are a part of. Imagine a young African American high school graduate immerging on the journey of self-discovery in a time marked by racial prejudice. “Battle Royal” depicts race inequality through both the physical and identity struggles of the main character; the story suggests that even though racial equality is almost a utopia at that time the “invisible man” (230) should fight against the white supremacy.
To understand the protagonist dilemma, we need to first understand why he defines himself as an invisible man. We can see trough the story that many times he is ignored. For instance, when the battle royal was about to start the narrator describes the attitude of the people around them as follows “But the other fellows didn’t care too much for me either, and there were nine of them” (232). Another example is when he was finally giving his speech the audience was not really paying attention he says: “I spoke even lauder in spite of the pain. But still they talked an still they laughed, as though deaf with cotton in dirty ears.” (240). In these passages we can see how he is often ignored and for these reason he defines himself as an unnoticeable person whose opinions and aspirations in life doesn’t matter for the society around him.
A segregated society worsened the narrator battle of self-discovery. The story is set eight five years after the end of slavery for the main character’s grandparents and in a time when he was graduating high school. At that time “he [I] was naïve”. He believed that his graduation speech could influence his audience, however the opposite is ...


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... never end and deep inside he knows that he is been played. His last dream is an analogy of what is happening during his speech. His life is a circus and the clowns are his audience. His grandfather not laughing means that he should not let himself to be played or fooled. The endless envelops means that a lot of years will pass until he finally discovery that he was been manipulated.
Hopefully our journey of self-discovery will not be as gruesome as the battles of the protagonist in this story. As we have seen, the protagonist goes through a bloody struggle once to realize that he is a puppet in the hands of society. There are many situations in life that incite us to decide how should we play the game of manipulation and conformism. But I hope we all have some “grandfather voices” in our mind to challenge us to fight for our ideals even if it must be in disguise.

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