Ralph Ellison 's The Battle Royal Essays

Ralph Ellison 's The Battle Royal Essays

Length: 1223 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Lord, why did you make me black? Why did you make me someone the world wants to hold back? Why do people think I’m useless? How come I feel so used? Why do some people see my skin and think I should be abused? (unknown author). As I reflect on this poem, it hurts me see and learn how one race oppresses another, merely on the merits of skin color gender or cultural background. In this essay I will analyze and critique Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal, which gives firsthand account on how hard it was and is, to be black in America. According to Jstor.org, and biography.com, Ralph Ellison was born in Oklahoma City on March 1, 1914. He studied music before moving to New York City and working as a writer he published his bestselling first novel Invisible Man in 1952. It is from this acclaimed book that the story of” Battle Royal” is taken from.
“Battle Royal” provides a realistic portrait of the difficulties a black person faced living in a world or society dominated by white men. In his story, Ellison uses several symbols to illustrate blacks struggle for equality. As one begins to read and digest, this story you can envision this young black, man trying to find a sense of his self- identity versus the man his white masters expected him to be. “All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was” ( page 1070) taken from the book Arguing about Literature by John Schilb and John Clifford. The symbols utilized in the story are critical elements for the development of the story. Each painting a small picture of the desires of black individuals. The following are the significance and relevance of the symbols. For example, the stripper is a symbol of the connection between w...


... middle of paper ...


... together for long.” It is safe to assume that the black men took their anger out on each other rather than focusing their efforts on trying to attain equality and reduce the control the white men were exercising over them.
Ralph Ellison used a several symbols in his story to convey his message about the black struggle for equality. The stripper representing the oppression of woman and blacks by white men, and her tattoo stands for the freedom the blacks long to have. The blindfold was symbolic of the black man’s figurative and literal blindness, and the battle was representative of the black fight for equality.” Battle Royal” expressed the difficulty faced by black people as they tried to achieve social equality. At the end of the story, I was amazed to discover that throughout his ordeal the young man never lost his desire to give his speech.




Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison Essay

- Ellison’s Powerful Battle Royal      I felt a wave of irrational guilt and fear. My teeth chattered, my skin turned to goose flesh, my knees knocked. Yet I was strongly attracted and looked in spite of myself. Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked. (Ellison 939)   These insightful words written by Ralph Ellison in the powerful short story "Battle Royal," which later became the first chapter in the critically acclaimed novel Invisible Man, convey the repressed desires of the maligned African American spirit, in an age of oppression ruled by ignorance and fear....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison

- "Battle Royal" "Battle Royal," by Ralph Ellison was a very difficult piece of literature for me to understand. As a little background information, Ellison was very much into music (228). He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on March 1, 1914 (221). Different themes are presented throughout this short story, which reflect different views that Ellison had at the time that he wrote this essay. One boy is invited to speak at local men’s club where he will deliver his graduation speech....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison

- 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....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Ralph Ellison's Battle Royal Essay

- Ralph Ellison's Battle Royal "Battle Royal", a short story by Ralph Ellison, written in 1952. It is a story about a young black man, who has recently graduated high school. He lives in the south and is invited to give a speech at a gathering of the towns leading white citizens. Where he was told to take part in a battle royal, with nine other black men. After the fight and the speech he was awarded with a calfskin brief case and a scholarship to the state college for Negros. On his grandfather's deathbed, his grandfather told his father to "keep up the good fight"....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Free Essays
1262 words (3.6 pages)

Ralph Ellison's Battle Royal Essay

- The native Africans' heritage and way of life were forever altered by the white slave drivers who took them into captivity in the 18th century. Along with their freedom, slaves were also robbed of their culture and consequently their identities. They became property instead of people, leaving them at the hands of merciless slave owners. Their quest to reclaim their stolen identities was a long and difficult struggle, especially in the years following the Civil War and the subsequent release of their people from bondage....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
1162 words (3.3 pages)

Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison Essay

- In the 1940‘s racial segregation gripped southern American life. The notion of separating blacks from whites created immense tension. Separate water fountains, bathrooms, restaurants, etc. were variables that helped keep races apart. “Jim Crow” laws in the south were intended to prevent blacks from voting. These laws, combined with the segregated educational system, instilled the sense that blacks were “separate” but not equal (174). Many people of color weren‘t able to survive through this time period because of the actions of whites....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
1887 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison

- Blind Is as Invisible Does, A man dealing with his perceptions of himself based on the perceptions of the society around him in Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal" "Battle Royal", an excerpt from Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, is far more than a commentary on the racial issues faced in society at that time. It is an example of African-American literature that addresses not only the social impacts of racism, but the psychological components as well. The narrator (IM) is thrust from living according to the perceptions of who he believes himself to be to trying to survive in a realm where he isn't supposed to exist, much less thrive....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
2168 words (6.2 pages)

Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison Essay

- Battle Royale In “Battle Royal,” Ellison uses details of setting to create the mood of horror and repulsion. The horror begins when the narrator listens to a conversation between his father and grandfather, as his grandfather lay on his death bed. “Son, after I’m gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I never told you, but our 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....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
889 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison

- In Battle Royal, Ellison shows us various things to bring our attention to the pain the minority group suffered. In doing this Ellison shows us relationships between the torment they felt to our feelings for them. When the boys enter the boxing ring, they are shown off like animals. The woman dancing represents the sick pleasure derived from the boys' torture. Ellison shows us a picture of the human mind, in seeing something to lust after then watching young men being beaten nearly to death as a form of entertainment....   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
508 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison

- "Battle Royal" is the story I chose to write about and it is written by Ralph Ellison. The reason that I chose this story is because the way the author uses symbolism. The author tries to show through symbolism that there is a different meaning than what the story says. In the beginning, the story seems to be about one black boy's struggle to get ahead in a white society. He tries' to accomplish this goal by living to his grandfathers dying words. His grand father told him to "live with your head in the lion's mouth, I want you to overcome ‘em with yes, undermine ‘em with grins, agree ‘em to death and destruction, let ‘em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open." W...   [tags: Battle Royal Essays]

Strong Essays
920 words (2.6 pages)