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Battle Royal, by Ralph Ellison Essay

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"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…show more content…
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
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