In the short story, “Battle Royal,” by Ralph Ellison (1952) the author uses the symbol of the boxing arena to illustrate how the nameless young, African American, character proceeded with his promised speech even after the discrimination, humiliation, and injustice he suffered. For example, the nameless character mentions the different images and voices he witnesses through the boxing arena. When the character says, “I felt a desire to spit upon her as my eyes brushed slowly over her body” while he hears the loud taunting shouts of the Caucasian men displays for the reader what the nameless character experienced in order to present his speech. The nameless character’s horrendous blindfolded boxing match transforms into a scholarship to the state college for Negroes. He states “my eyes filled with tears and I ran awkwardly off the floor. I was overjoyed.” The nameless character suffered anguish from the boxing arena, and he battled his way to deliver his speech. Now he holds a scholarship to the state college for Negroes.
The main ballroom occupied the air with cigarette smoke as the unidentified first person narrator became a part of the battle royal with his other nine schoolmates. Moreover, the author’s intention to surprise the unknown character with the boxing arena elevated pressure on him because he was not certain on how to even cast a punch. The anonymous character observed how the upper class Caucasian men surrounded the boxing arena like an antagonistic audience waiting impatiently to be entertained. Furthermore, the image of the naked, blonde Caucasian woman struck the unspecified character’s eyes. It is like her figure served for America but led the men astray. The anonymous character states, “I ...
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...agonists’ family and neighbors congratulated him for the scholarship he received. In addition, an accomplishment like earning a scholarship proudness the family.
The boxing arena served as a symbol in the “Royal Battle,” by Ralph Ellison because the boxing arena became the center of different images and voices the unknown character mentioned, humiliation stirred then overturned to happiness, and the feeling of joy spread through the nameless character eyes due to the scholarship prize he achieved. Therefore, the boxing arena serves as a symbol of the diverse struggles the anonymous character encountered in order to receive the scholarship prize at the end. The main character passed through several harsh treatment in the boxing arena; however, the main character realized the boxing arena served as a stage to gasp the audience and entertain them too.
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