Graduation Speech In Ralph Ellison's The Battle Royal

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When you do all you can to impress people that you don’t even know some time they will step in your way. When you are growing up you are always told to do as you are told, this is fine in most cases but what if that something is not the right thing for you to do. In The Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison a recent high school graduate has to give his graduation speech in front of all of the communities white leaders. What he doesn’t know is that he is also going for the entertainment of the white leaders. But the Graduate would be a fool to take a beating from the white man and then be rewarded.

It all begin with Grandpa laying on his death bed. While he was laying their amongst his family he spoke some confusing words
“I never told you, but our …show more content…

While waiting to give his speech he was informed that he would be competing in a Battle Royal because he was there anyways. The room was filled with smoke and the smell of alcohol along with all of the town’s big shots. Even though the Graduate was being forced to fight, he was not letting the battle royal detour him from the reason that he was there for. The other boys didn’t care for him as he took a spot away from one of their friends. As they entered the room it was filled with smoke. They were then pushed to the front of the room where the ring was set up at and in the middle of the ring was a white blonde lady standing completely naked with a tattoo of an American Flag on her stomach. The blonde lady began to dance and the people in the room yelled at the boys not to look and then to look. One boys then passed out and got ice water thrown on him and made to continue watching till the woman was saved. This was because some of the people had been throwing her up in the air after she had been in the air. The boys are then put in the ring with their back to the ropes and blindfolded. Ellison said “It was as though I had Suddenly found myself in a dark room filled with poisonous cottonmouths”. According to George Yancy “Symbolically, the blindfolds replicate the larger socioeconomic powerlessness of Blacks in relation to whites” (77). This entire time the Graduate was still concentrating on his …show more content…

The smoke thickened and then a blow to the face filled his mouth with blood and streaks of blue light filled the black caused by the blindfold. Then the Graduate hit the floor acting as if he was knocked out only to be thrown back to his feet so he had to continue fighting. After getting up the Graduate took another blow to the midsection this time he realized that he could see out of one eye and he then started to avoid punches while trying not to look suspicious. With no rounds or three minute intervals to relieve them, the boys fighting easily became tired and it started to show. Soon the boys started leaving the ring one after another with the graduate soon finding out what was happening. The other fighters had arranged that the last two people left would fight for the prize not blindfolded. The bell rang and the blindfolds got removed for the graduate to see he was facing the largest of the boys. The two started trading blows till finally the graduate asked to take a fall and he can have the prize money. The boy refused and even refused the offers that the graduate had offered. The Graduate now wanted to win not for the money but for the speech that he was to give. Then the boy hit him and it sent the Graduate crashing to the ground in a moment he came back to and he heard a voice yell five, he then laid till the count was at ten

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