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Word Count: 807
Ralph Ellisons short story Battle Royal is symbolic in many different ways In one way it is symbolic of the African Americans struggle for equality throughout our nations history The various hardships that the narrator must endure in his quest to deliver his speech are representative of the many hardships that the blacks went through in their fight for equality The narrator in Ellisons short story suffers much He is considered to be one of the brighter youths in his black community The young man is given the opportunity to give a speech to some of the more prestigious white individuals The harsh treatment that he is dealt in order to perform his task is quite symbolic It represents the many hardships that the African American people endured while they fought to be treated equally in the United States He expects to give his speech in a positive and normal environment What faces him is something that he never would have imagined The harsh conditions that the boys competing in the battle royal must face are phenomenal At first the boys are ushered into a room where a nude woman is dancing The white men yell at the boys for looking and not looking at the woman It is as if they are showing them all of the good things being white can bring and then saying that they arent good enough for it since they were black Next the boys must compete in the battle royal Blindly the boys savagely beat one another This is symbolic of the African Americans fight for equality It represents the struggle they endured to be accepted as equals with our societys white population upon the abolition of slavery Blindly our nations black population fought not always knowing what for just as the boys in this story fought The segregation of schools restaurants and other public facilities were issues that were fiercely fought over These battles are
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