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Word Count: 857
Ben Riley 7-24-00 Thoughts on Battle Royal Ralph Ellisons short story Battle Royal takes place in any small town in the south The main focus of this story is the reoccurring incidences of racial inequality This is a story of several generations of an Afro-American family that dream about improving their lives in a racially segregated America In the beginning of the story a dying old man tells his son that he should keep up the fight This was in reference to the fight for social equality The grandfather also said to his son Live with your head in the lions mouth I want you to overcomeem with yeses undermineem with grins agreeem to death and destruction letem swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open This meant that the dying grandfather wanted his offspring to be strong and stand up for minority rights He thought that his son should be polite and use non-violent means to achieve social equality The main character in the story was the old mans grandson He was a great public speaker who won a competition to speak at a large private party made up of some of the top social figures in the local community When the boy got there he saw the school superintendent policemen lawyers bankers and even the local priest Everyone was dressed up in tuxedos drank whiskey and ate exquisite foods He was surprised to find out that hed be taking part in a battle royal composed of some of his high school peers The idea that brutality was acceptable for a lesser race was shown in this story The black boys were blindfolded and forced to fight each other in a boxing ring for the enjoyment of the white spectators The school superintendent yells at the boys in the ring saying Let me at that big nigger Racial slurs were constantly being hurled at the contestants These boys were treated as just
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