Character Analysis: Battle Royal

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“Battle Royal” in a Social Context In times of racial discrimination of the 1950’s, many African American people were forced to live under periods of social inequality and oppression. If there was ever a character that had to truly endure, fight, and overcome a social setting, that character would be the protagonist of “Battle Royal”; a black man during that time of oppression. In “Battle Royal”, Ralph describes the life of a free, yet still enslaved black man. He by law is considered free, but socially he is viewed down upon and seemingly still enslaved. This man is seemingly tortured just so he can deliver a simple speech. This determination and fight against society shows how the narrator interacts with the stereotypical white man of…show more content…
He has succeeded in so many facets of life, not just to win the approval of the white man, but also to strengthen himself. He was a tremendous scholar and had succeeded so much in high school that greatness was nearly expected from him. It was almost as if by conforming to his social situation now, he could one day stand against it and changed the entire social aspect as a whole. He “visualized [himself] as a potential Booker T. Washington” when he entered the room. Washington was a prominent black figure from decades prior. Like Washington, the narrator is considered to be a leader among African Americans, and it is time for him to exemplify that. Being invited to deliver his graduation speech in front of the town’s most prominent white men will cause him to use his methods of fitting in only to stand…show more content…
For years he lived below the authority of the white. He put himself on the same level of his fellow people, and went through the motions. He was praised for it all, but he knew he was meant to stand out and stand for more. By conforming to the white man, he was able to stand out against the oppression and show everyone who he truly was, and what he truly possessed. He was granted an opportunity toward an education, and an opportunity to become a prominent black leader he had alluded to earlier in the story all because of his understanding of his role in his social setting. Without that social setting, the narrator would have never been able to succeed in the ways he

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