Conflicts In Ralph Ellison's Battle Royal

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In Ralph Ellison's short story Battle Royal, we are introduced to an intelligent, newly graduated young boy. This boy, the narrator, is struggling with finding out who he is, and learning his true self and purpose. He says he is an "invisible man"; but not in the supernatural sense, in the sense that no one knows who he really is. Many conflicts arise around the main protagonist which reveals his true character. At the beginning of the story, many characteristics are revealed through his interactions with others and himself like being uncertain, a pushover, and constantly needing validation from others. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to the narrator and his grandfather. As the grandfather is dying, he says some absurd …show more content…

At this news, the narrator is slightly opposed, not to the fighting aspect of the battle, but merely because he is more interested and excited about delivering his speech. During the battle, the protagonist is still focused on presenting his speech. He talks about the battle in such a negative way, saying it was frightening and that's the whole battle was complete anarchy and threatening. It's strange that even when put in this situation, the character is still persistent in his need to present the speech. "I had begun to worry about my speech again" (Ellison, 185). Even as he is being beaten to the ground and punched in the face, he still needs validation from the white people to make himself feel equal. When people are put into situations where they feel uncomfortable, or where they feel out of place, they tend to latch onto some thing they know as familiar. For the protagonist in Battle Royal, that familiar thought was his speech. There were m at conflicts that arose and forced the protagonist to deal with the situation. The specific way that the protagonist dealt with these conflicts shows his true

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