Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison

1366 Words Aug 22nd, 2014 6 Pages
The battle royal originated with the Romans, more than two millennia ago, when gladiators would duke it out with no protection, ending in a solitary blood stained fighter left standing, amidst unbridled carnage. The titular narrator of Ralph Ellison 's novel Invisible Man, is no stranger to those experiences. In the beginning, he is forced to fight several other black boxers for the amusement of many heckling, white spectators. Through the imaginative use of objects, symbols, allusions, and the actions, thoughts, and purposes of the spectators, pugilists and risqué "entertainment", Ellison seeks to express a powerful image of American race relations and women 's stratum in the early 20th century. The feeling of superiority and disgust felt by Invisible Man before the bout serves as a metaphor reinforcing the main undertone of the entire scene, the lack of black unity against the horrifying sins of white oppression. Invisible Man shows it best when he thinks, "I had some misgivings over the battle royal, by the way. Not from a distaste for fighting, but because I didn 't care too much for the other fellows who were to take part... No one could mistake their toughness. And besides, I suspected that fighting a battle royal might detract from the dignity of my speech. In those pre-invisible days I visualized myself as a potential Booker T. Washington. But the other fellows didn 't care too much for me either...I felt superior to them in my way, and I didn 't like the manner in…

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