Ralph Ellison Battle Royal Short Story Analysis

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Playing a Role to Succeed Gaining freedom does not mean one has gained equality. The civil war ended slavery but African Americans still suffered from racism. Ralph Ellison touches on this topic in his short story “Battle Royal” which portrays the life of a young African American post-civil war. Before the narrator in Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” was an “invisible man” he was a young African American who had to deal with oppression in order to survive in his modern time. Ralph Ellison uses symbolism, metaphors, and imagery in “Battle Royal” in order to enhance the portrayal of the life of a young African American male who tries to achieve academic success while being oppressed by his white counterparts. Symbolism is used in many…show more content…
They soon criticize the narrator’s choice of words, who is then forced to change it in order to keep the group happy. This portrays a hostile scene where the young African American male has no choice but to try to get his point across without putting his life in danger. Ellison plays on both visual and organic imagery as an image is painted of a disrespected, bloodied, and fatigued African American male who is fed up with playing the role of an obedient slave. Ellison is very descriptive throughout the entire story which allows the message to eloquently flow off the page and into the readers mind. The image of the hostile situation during Ellison’s speech fluently bridges the metaphor of the white race owning America. Furthermore, the imagery and metaphor tie into the symbolism of barbarity amongst the African American race as it strives to achieve academic success. Ellison’s complex symbolism, eloquent metaphors, and descriptive imagery amplify the illustration of his quest to academic success while playing the role of the obedient slave for his white
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