"Battle Royal" is a story about a black boy that is psychologically wakened when he overhears what his grandfather says at his deathbed to his father. This boy, before he realizes who he really is, and his social standing in the society that he lives, is searching to find himself. However this search is filled with many obstacles, because he lives in a time when people of his status are conditioned to act, talk, and behave in a certain way.
Our hero's journey toward the light (truth) is started a long time ago. However in the beginning he is unable to get on the right course, due to the wrong advice he is given by different people; he says it as "All my life I was looking for something, and every were that I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction" (448). Because each time that he accepts their advice he is little by little pushed off the right track. It is not until he realizes that he is searching for himself, and instead of asking others questions, he needs to ask the questions to himself. Once he discovers whom to turn to, he begins a long and difficult journey in which he realizes that he is a unique person, he puts it as, "I am nobody but myself."(449). This means that he is unique and he is who he is, black. However before he comes to this enlightenment he discovers that he is an "invisible man"(449). He marks himself invisible because in the society in which a person is unheard and unseen by others is invisible.
At that point our young friend's problem is clear. He is a black boy in a White men's world, in which he is not see or heard. Yet he still does not know what to do about it, well at-least not until he hears his grandfathers words to his father:
Son, after I'm gone I want you to keep up a good fight. I never told you, but your life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy's country ever since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction. 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 burst wide open Learn it to the younguns(449)
These last words that his grand father speaks are the chain-breakers that set the young boy's mind free. What hit's him the hardest is fin...
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...ead in the lion's mouth overcome'em with yeses, undermine'em with grins, agree'em to death.., let'em swoller you till they vomit or burst wide open" (449) he needs to overcome this physical and mental struggle just so he can be heard giving a speech to people who for now think that he is just a small ant. They even give him a prize, a briefcase and a scholarship to a University.
At the end of the story we finally see how his morality becomes constant with the reality that he lives. The night after the Battle Royal he has a dream. In it he hears his grandfather give him instructions to read a note that is in the briefcase which was given to him as an award. The note read, "To Whom It May Concern, Keep this Nigger-Boy Running"(459) This is the point that he realizes that the nice things that he has been given is not for his benefit, but he is being bout with these gifts. From all this he now knows for a fact that he lives in a society that does not except him as a person, but rather more like an animal that does not disserve any human rights. Because this society is his reality, he now needs to alter his moral ideas so it will compliment his newly realized reality.
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