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Symbolism In Battle Royal

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The story "Battle Royal" the author uses different irony as well as symbolism to express the battle that was fought by people of color to achieve the American dream. Based off the time period this story was written black people did not have the rights as white people. The narrator grand -parents were slaves and on his grandfather’s dying bed he pleaded to his grandson to not back down from life challenges. He implored him to “Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you 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” (Ellison 226). The message is clear that he’s advising the Narrator to become an invisible man and “play the white man’s game” (Ellison…show more content…
“All ten of us climbed under the ropes and allowed ourselves to be blindfolded with broad bands of white cloth” (Ellison 229). The part of this battle symbolism was to strip the power of these young black men, blindfold them, and turn them against each other. The white blind fold in the story is a representation of the blind hatred of blacks at the time this story took place. By blind hatred it means the ignorance of the people of this time who could hate a person for the color of their skin. The men in the ring wailed at each other, not knowing whom they were hitting or why, just that they had to fight. This was true in the white American society of the time because white people blindly sent blows of segregation without actually knowing each individual, but stereotyped a whole race as no good and as lesser beings simply for the color of their skin. Blacks lived there lives in a fight…show more content…
His mouth filled up with blood from the cut almost strangled him. “I spoke even louder in spite of the pain” (Ellison 234). But they still talked and laughed “as though deaf with cotton in dirty ears” (Ellison 234). This is significant because the narrator is implying that no matter how hard he is trying to prove his worth, they will only see a worthless black man who is only good for picking cotton. He was given a briefcase and congratulated for his speech but in the end the narrator is given an envelope in his dreams by his grandfather which contains a letter written “To Whom it May Concern Keep This Nigger Boy Running” (Ellison 235). This just shows the significant fight African Americans had to endure. The white men basically said nice job with a pat on the back but also stated his speech was not enough. White men tried to rule African Americans by giving them certain rights but never really letting them be truly
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