Generational Conflict InBattle Royal, By Ralph Ellison

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Battle Royal Race relations in America is a very sensitive subject, and Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison captures several of the societal conflicts it presents. The central idea of focus is about the generational conflict about race relations between blacks and blacks, as well as blacks and whites. The main character provides reasoning for the internal struggle in his life, as he reflects on how the final words of his dyeing grandfather and the Battle Royal affected him`. The language his grandfather uses his on his death bed in 1932 tells of the internal conflict at how he lived his life. The grandfather talked of “keeping up the good fight” (Ellison, 418), and “our life is a war” (418); “I have been a traitor all my born life” (418). His advice to his son is to not live as passive and meek as he did. And “learn it to the younguns” (418), to pass it onto his kids, including the protagonist. This same inner conflict is passed on to the narrator. At least until graduating high school, the protagonist lived as his grandfather did, the evidence is in his oration on graduation day. Noted in the oration was the statement “humility is the secret, indeed the very essence of progress” (419). However, he caught the attention of the school superintendent, and was invited to deliver the same speech to the town’s most influential citizens. Initially the Protagonist considered this opportunity to draw the two communities close thinking the speech was a “triumph for the whole community”

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