Triumphing Over Challenges The story “Battle Royal”, by Ralph Ellison is about a young black man who has to overcome racial inequalities. The story opens with his grandfather dying words and leaving the family with words that stick with the main character for life. The main character, whose name in not mentioned, is very intelligent and because of this the prominent white businessmen ask him to give a speech at a hotel. Upon his arrival, the white men put him through many humiliating acts for their enjoyment. There is a boxing match and also an electric carpet, but the boy preservers through them all.
Through the book the two main recurring themes are betrayal and invisibility and the narrator keeps these symbols with him because they represent who he is. The first symbol is the briefcase itself, as it represents the “Battle Royal” that he and some other blacks were made to compete in. The narrator is made to participate in a sickening ritual where he and others are made to fight in a boxing ring, and then made to fight for money on an electric carpet. The narrator shows up to this expecting to make a speech on booker t Washington. After being beaten and shocked in front of a crowd of jeering and drunk white people the narrator is expected to make the speech, after which he receives a college scholarship and the briefcase.
During the battle royal the protagonist 's blindfold partly slips away, depicting the glimpse of truth experienced by the few within the circus ring of white-entertainment. He uses this advantage to "[move] carefully avoiding [the] blows" or disdain from his fellow race. After the protagonist uses his advantage to survive in the first round of the battle he is faced with a big black opponent, Tatlock, symbolizing his black brethren standing in the way of his white guided success. Faced with a perceived final obstacle to success, the protagonist continues to strive to be seen as an exceptional black man as he requests for Tatlock to " Fake like [he] knocked [him] out" promising him the coveted prize from the fight. During this head-to-head fight the protagonist fights back with "hopeless desperation" calling Tatlock a "stupid clown... ruining [his] chances" of success when ironically he himself is the clown, hired for the entertainment in this white run circus spectacle.
From here on, he will never be able to see things the same way because of his maturing experiences. The narrator’s initiation takes place when he shows up for the community gathering. Instead of being praised for his scholar, he is thrown into a boxing ring with his other classmates to fight each other while the white men cheer. Eventually, he gives his speech after brutal losing in the ring, only to have the white men laugh at him. He realizes that he cannot survive in this cruel world by being naive and trusting.
When Dr. Bledsoe kicks him out of college, the Protagonist reflects on his grandfather last words "undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death^"(Emerson 16). For a moment, the Protagonist wonders if his grandfather might be right. Howev... ... middle of paper ... ...ld not let him rest. He states that "I'm an invisible man and it placed me in a hole- or showed me the hole I was in^. "(Ellison Epilogue).
He took on the Olympics in 1960 at the age of 18 and won the gold medal. Yet being a gold medalist wouldn’t help persuade the public view of him as a serious contender for the world heavy weight contender. Ali would fight as the challenger for the light-heavy weight world title against Sonny Liston on February, 25 1964. Clay would shock the world into no longer doubting him as serious opponent with a technical knock-out and continue to shock them with an announcement a day later. Clay was a cock young boxer, who ran his mouth continuously before he fight to the point of being fined 2500 dollars (boxrec.com).
The narrator’s invisibility first comes up in chapter one, where he is invited to a community meeting consisting of prestigious white citizens. He comes to this meeting believing that he is to give a speech to represent his high school. The narrator believes that in conducting his speech, he will be recognized by the white community for his intelligence and potential. Unfortunately, he is turned into the evening’s entertainment when he is forced into a “battle royal” with his fellow classmates, beaten senselessly and pushed onto an electrocuted carpet. It is ironic that the narrator, coming to the meeting under the impression that he will be treated like royalty, is pushed into a ring and forced to fight like a caged animal.
These last words that his grandfather tells him makes him feel like that there is a curse hovering over him. The family being black had a harder time growing up than the more wealthy white folks did. He wrote a graduation speech that totally went against his grandfather’s words that he gave the narrator. The town’s "leading white people" loved the speech and asked him to deliver it at a local hotel in the ballroom. This starts a "revolution" in the narrator’s life.
Invisible Man: Short Plot/Character Analysis/Themes Invisible Man, written in 1952 by Ralph Ellison, documents a young black man's struggle to find identity in an inequitable and manipulative society. During the course of this struggle, he learns many valuable lessons, both about society and himself, through his experiences. The story begins with the narrator recounting his memories of his grandfather. The most remarkable, and eventually the most haunting, of these is his memory of his grandfather's last words in which he claims to have been a traitor to his own people and urges his son to "overcome 'em with yeses, undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death and destruction, let 'em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open." These words remain imprinted in the narrator's mind throughout the book, although he never fully understands their meaning.
Although boxing is a dangerous sport, fighting helps keep him off the streets and out of violent gangs. It is also a way for Tommy to earn money, sublimate anger towards his absent father and numb the emotional pain of a broken home. Unluckily, Mr. Horn, a nefarious businessman exploiting hungry boxers like prize pigs for his illegal matches, controls Tommy. Consequently, enraged Tommy earns enough money and defeats Mr. Horn’ s standards by wining his freedom, and beating him in a fight. Tommy, a very gifted young man, adamantly takes the anger he has inside and uses it to achieve his goals.