Analysis Of Battle Royal By Ralph Ellison

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Authors use different genres of writing to portray their literary messages amongst these genres there are poems and short stories. Battle Royal written by Ralph Ellison is a short story about an African American boy who receives some cryptic advice from his grandfather that ultimately causes him to discover that he must stand up for African Americans and not be a coward like his grandfather was. The poem “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Dunbar is about dishonesty and deception, lying about ones feelings and in a sense hiding ones true emotions with a “mask.” Both of these forms of writing convey an overall message that people do not always speak the truth because they are afraid to do so. They hide behind a façade pretending to be something they are not, thinking they are doing what is best but in reality are only hurting themselves. The poem, “We Wear the Mask” does an overall better job at conveying this message than the short story, Battle Royal. “We Wear the Mask” communicates this message in a much clearer and concise manner. While in Battle Royal, the reader would have to do some research on the time period in order to fully understand the grandfather’s true meaning behind his words. Poetry uses symbolism, tone, and punctuation to provide deeper knowledge behind the author’s words and can give the reader a better understanding of the authors message in a few short stanza’s than a story could in a few pages. In “We Wear the Mask” symbolism is used all throughout the poem.

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