Battle Royale Symbolism

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In the short story “Battle Royale” by Ralph Ellison begins with a young boy who is invited to an event with the intention of just giving a speech, little does he know that he would be forced to participate in the main event of the battle royale. From the moment the narrator arrives at the hotel the author uses each event to stand for something greater. For example, the initial description of the inside of the hotel was filled with phallic symbols that set the mood of the story. All the powerful white men gathered together in one room smoking cigars, shouting at the boys and carrying on with each was an intimidating situation to come into. Starting the event was the blond woman who came out before the battle symbolized the ideal American woman. She was something that a white man could have and even abuse, but black men who were barley allowed to look at her in a normal…show more content…
The blindfold was a good representation of how blacks were blinded by the actual intentions of whites (the narrator was blindfolded in the beginning because he didn’t know the true reason for his attendance, and then physically being blindfolded with the other boys just shows the reader the bigger picture of black blindness even towards one another). Blindfold is also symbolic of the restrictions put on blacks by white as well as the inferiority of blacks compared to white folks and the control and power they took over black people. Directly after the fight the boys had the chance to collect “gold coins” for their work done in the ring, what they didn’t know was that the rug was electrified. This showed the ultimate cruelty of the white men. Even after the appalling boxing match the boys couldn’t even collect their “prize” without being tortured some more just to entertain the white folks. The diction and imagery the author uses to describe this event reflects the true attitude towards people of color during this time

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