Essay about Battle Royal By Ralph Ellison

Essay about Battle Royal By Ralph Ellison

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Throughout the story, “Battle Royal”, Ralph Ellison explores the fact that despite the speaker 's efforts to break the frame of being African American, society and the people that surround him push him even further into the frame of being African American. The story begins with the speaker looking back on his life, “It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man!” (Ellison 1411). The speaker is explaining how looking back he realized what he was too naive to see when he was younger, that he is his own person and what he wants to be. The speaker refers to himself as an invisible man to intrigue readers by telling them because he was invisible he had this realization. The speaker then transitions to talk about his grandfather’s last words and how they affected his life, “It was as though I was carrying out his advice in spite of myself. And to make it worse, everyone loved me for it. I was praised by the most lily white men of the town.” (1411). Through the speaker, it becomes evident that he is colored and was trying to fit in with the white folk instead of continue to be disrespected by society so he could break his frame of being black. The speaker feels as if he is following in his grandfather’s steps, even though he does not want to. He also feels that if he does not get along with the white people then he will continue to be oppressed just because the color of his skin is not the same as theirs.
As the speaker continues to go through his routine, he gives a very inspiring speech at his graduation, that the white people loved. The whites...


... middle of paper ...


...nding he is less than them and is trying to put him in his place. After the speaker gives his speech the superintendent gives him a prize, “It was a scholarship to the state college for Negroes.” (1420). This is also an example of the white people pushing the speaker into a frame because he is being separated from the society he so wants to be involved in by being sent to an all black college. The white people try to hide their true meaning of the scholarship by giving him a scholarship in the first place so they look like better people.
Throughout the story, it becomes evident the speaker is trying to break this frame of being an African American by being involved in society and getting the important people to like and respect him. In reality, the white people do not respect him at all and take advantage of him, forcing him back into the frame of being colored.

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