Ralph Ellison 's Battle Royal Essay

963 Words Apr 12th, 2016 4 Pages
Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” illuminates how white supremacy still overpowered black people particularly black male—the protagonist, even after slavery. “It made me afraid that someday they would look upon me as a traitor and I would be lost. Still I was more afraid to act any other way because they didn’t like that at all” (227). A young African American man “considered an example of desirable conduct” (227) by the white people, shows how he is eager to please them. Since he was admired and well-known for his intelligence by the “town’s big shots” (227) he has this need and desire to give them satisfaction despite his well-being. He is so careful with his actions because he is anxious to be considered a traitor and be left out by society after all of his achievements. In view of, their community is mastered by the white men and even though this was after the Civil War, black people are still under white people. Racial Inequality is still evident even after slavery. The narrator considers himself an “Invisible Man” because he is never where he is. “All my life I had been looking for something and everywhere I turned someone tries to tell me where it was” (226). At the beginning of the story, he is ashamed and confused of himself because he does not know who he truly is and what path should he take. Is it the path that his mind is telling him, that he should follow society which is to accept the second-class status and be what they want him to be or follow his grandfather’s…

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