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Word Count: 660
A Fight for Freedom Ralph Ellisons The Battle Royal shows the relationship between the white and black community in the 1940s Ellison has the narrator believing that he overcame the stereotypical black man when he is invited to give a speech at a gathering of the towns leading white citizens 579 Only to find out he is just part of the entertainment 579 Ellison uses the events of the battle royal to symbolize the battles the black society had to endure while trying obtain social equality 586 The Civil War gave blacks their freedom but the white society did not allow the black society to embrace their new found freedom or the American dream A white naked woman is used to symbolize the American dream which the black community could partake of Be fore the battle royal all of the fighters are ushered to the front of the ballroom where a sea of faces some hostile some amused ringed around the fighters and in the centerstood a magnificent blondestrake naked 579 The narrator says I felt a wave of irrational guilt and fear My teeth chattered my skin turned to goose flesh my knees knocked Yet I was strongly attracted and looked in spite of myself Had the price of looking been blindness I would have looked 579-580 As the black fighters found this woman very appealing and something they wanted the white men thought of her as nothing more than entertainment Ellison writes As the dancer flung herself about with detached expression on her face the men began reaching out to touch her I could see their beefy fingers sink into her soft flesh Some of the others tried to stop them and she began to move around the floor in graceful circles as they gave chase slipping and sliding over the polished floorthey caught her just as she reached the door
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