Essay on Analysis Of Ralph Ellison 's Battle Royal

727 Words Feb 15th, 2016 3 Pages
In Ralph Ellison’s Battle Royal, the narrator whom remains nameless is brutally forced to participate in grueling physical activities in which give white men pleasure to watch. This work is a powerful image of the struggles endured by the black men in the early 1900’s, who strived to become more than what white society perceived them to be. In this paper, I intend to argue the significance of racial inequality by examining the deeper symbolic meanings behind the white woman erotically dancing before the battle, the white blindfold used to cover the eyes of the battle participants, and the car advertised tokens given as the “reward” after the battle is completed.
Before the men engaged in the battle, a white woman was put in the ring to dance erotically in front of the crowd. Swaying her hips from side to side, the narrator did not know whether to look or not, in fear of being punished for doing either or. Although the tattoo of the American flag is used signify freedom and equality, there is a clear distinction of racial inequality happening during this time. This instance was symbolic for exhibiting that although the black men were drooling and hypnotized over this woman, that this was something they could not have. White woman were strictly for white men, and it would be frowned upon for a black man to even look at one.
As the men began to all gather around and step into the ring, they were blind folded with a white cloth. The white cloth is an essential form of imagery…

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