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Battle Royal

            The African Americans" struggle for equality throughout history can be viewed through Ralph Ellison's short story Battle Royal. The numerous hardships that the narrator must withstand, in his pursuit to read a speech, can be considered to represent the many hardships the African American people went through to gain equality. .
             The narrator of the story is considered to be one of the brighter youths in his black community. He was given the simple, but yet honorable opportunity, to deliver a speech in front of the more prestigious white community members, which he accepted graciously. However, the suffering and punishment that lied ahead, in order for him to deliver his speech, was unimaginable. The harsh treatment that he is put through is quite symbolic. It represents the many hardships that the African American people had to bear in their battle to be treated equally. .
             Entering the hotel anxious to deliver his speech the narrator discovers that he was going to be part of a battle royal which, consisted of nine of his schoolmates and a boxing ring. If he had only knew this was only the beginning of the numerous harsh conditions that he was going to face that evening. The boys are first ushered into a room where a nude white woman is dancing for the amusement of white drunken men. As the boys continue walking, white spectators begin yelling at the boys for looking and others yelling for not looking at the nude woman. It seems as if the spectators are showing them all the good things that being white can bring, and then telling them that were not good enough to view her since they were black. Next, the boys were forced to compete in the battle royal.
             After being blindfolded the boys begin to beat one another furiously. The narrator then began taking a severe beating from each of the other nine fighters. "Then it seemed as though all nine of the boys had turned upon me at once.

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