Battle Royal Essay Research Paper Battle RoyalBattle

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Battle Royal Essay, Research Paper ?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. As I go on, I will discuss the nature of the short story and how it affected me. The narrator?s view of this entire situation at the men?s club is kind of humiliating which will later set the stage for events that will happen in his future. Black people are

viewed different in this time period and the narrator does not understand near the end of the story. The narrator looks up to his grandfather. He told the narrator?s father to keep up the fight. The father then tells the narrator what the grandfather told him. This was just being passed down through the different generations. This to me shows the loving relationship that the grandson and the grandfather share. Near the end of the story however, his grandfather?s presence scares him to death. The grandfather?s advice was a little too much for the narrator to handle. ?Live with your head in the lion?s mouth?overcome them with yeses?let ?em swoller you till they vomit.? This scares the boy. 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. The people at the hotel make the narrator feel very uncomfortable. This group of ?town?s officials? turned out to be the local men?s club. They were smoking and drinking, paying no attention to what the guests have to say. The leaders of the club are more interested in the entertainment. At that time, they could have cared less what the narrator had to say. They had a woman to come out and ?entertain? them.

I feel that this is ironic because this showed how the male portion of the society reacted to certain forms of entertainment. While their wives were probably at home tending the children, these men at this club were killing all the dignity and respect that the narrator had at that time. Generally around the 1950s men would sit around old barbershops and tell their ?big tales? about how they caught the biggest one yet. Women had their bridge club and also their garden club that kept them busy throughout the day. This was a way for many men to relax after a hard day at work. According to Mack Warren, a local barber in my hometown, he states that ?tellin? tales was more than just a hobby for many men back in the 50?s, it was a way for them to get away from the stresses of everyday

life.? The pride in them (the people of that era) helped determine the way of the country today. It helped determine the way their children and grandchildren live today. The narrator being black had a hard time realizing what the people there were doing. He was being mocked without him even knowing it. Being black in this time period was very difficult for the narrator because he wasn?t looked upon as much as the white people his same age. This was not the case for some other men. Of course some had to be perverse in some way or fashion. They got their pleasure from scenes such as the woman dancer in ?Battle Royal.? The men at the ?smoker? enjoy this form of entertainment with their drinks and cigars. The narrator has to sit through all of this. I think that this scene humiliates