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Battle Royal Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison is a very confusing theme to interpret and comprehend A black man is trapped in a world of cruelty with nobody to guide him He is being torn apart in two paths by the advice of his grandfather and by the wishes of the white man which he longs to please While attempting to satisfy their wishes he forgets what is most important and that he is his own self and not any other The narrators problem is his parents They refuse to discuss his grandfathers advice with him and as a result he never knows exactly what it to do and how to do it Anyone could see how it would be confusing to a young boy Son after Im gone I want you to keep up the good fight I never told you but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days a spy in the enemys country ever since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction Live with your head in the lions mouth I want you to overcome em with yeses undermine em with grins agree em to death and destruction let em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open Ellison 449 His grandfather had always been a model citizen He was a quiet meek man who always acted in a desirable way towards the white man And then on his own deathbed he called himself a traitor and a spy What haunted the narrator is that he acted in the same manner as his grandfather did and had always received compliments and praise from the white man in his social life And on the other hand his grandfather referred to those acts as being horrible This brought about a feeling of guilt in him How could he maintain the respect of the whites without being seen as a traitor
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