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Battle Royal

            In Ralph Ellison's short story, "Battle Royal", a young man is coming to the realization of what his ailing grandfather was asking of him on his deathbed. The main character or narrator of the story goes through a dramatic ordeal that will hopefully open his eyes to ways of the world. The story has many symbols throughout that relate to the moral in many different ways. In one way it is symbolic of the African Americans" struggle for equality throughout our nation's history. The author uses the blonde white woman, a rug, constant lies by the white man, and other symbols to show the various hardships that the narrator must endure, in his quest to deliver his speech, and all are representative of the many hardships that blacks went through and go through now in a fight for equality. .
             The narrator in Ellison's short story suffers much even though he is considered to be one of the brighter young men in the black community. The young man is given the opportunity to give a speech to some of the more prestigious white individuals. The harsh treatment that he is dealt in order to perform his task is very symbolic. The young man expects to deliver his speech to a warm crowd. But what faces him is something that he never could have imagined. He is informed that he has to participate in a "Battle Royal" with his peers for the amusement of the onlookers which can be related to the "lions mouth" (Ellison 270) that his grandfather spoke of before he died. This also denotes the thinking of some white individuals to let blacks kill themselves while they [whites] sit back and watch with amusement. The "Battle Royal" itself represents the many hardships that black people endure while they fight to be treated equally in this nation. .
             The harsh conditions that the boys" face in the battle royal is horrendous. At first the boys are ushered into a room where a nude woman is dancing. The white men yell at the boys for looking and not looking at the woman.

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