O Reilly In Ralph Ellison's Battle Royal

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As John Boyle O'Reilly once said “Social equity is based on justice; politics change on the opinion of the time. The black man's skin will be a mark of social inferiority so long as white men are conceited, ignorant, unjust, and prejudiced. You cannot legislate these qualities out of the white - you must steal them out by teaching, illustration, and example.” In other words, O’Reilly is stating in order to see change, you must make changes. For instance, you can't just pretend to be meek and servile around white men so that one day he will be in a position to undermine the status quo. Which can be demonstrated in “Battle Royal,” where Ralph Ellison uses symbolism to express one black man struggle to go ahead in predominately white society.…show more content…
Entering the room “stood a magnificent blond- stark naked..blue eyed woman with a tattoo of the American flag on her belly.” (228) She represented the perfect American white woman, something that a black man could strive his entire life to attain, but would never receive. Ellison’s character felt the “desire to have one and the same time run.” (229) Proving of one of the many things a white man can have where a black man can’t. The women dancing as well represents social inferiority of a white man. Them placing her there was a way to ridicule them, “she continued dancing, smiling faintly at big shots who watched her with fascination, and faintly smiling at our fear.”(229). He and other young black men are degraded and forced to watch her dance, for it was humorous to see them squirm in humiliation. The event,which the narrator initially believed was to recite his speech turns out to be racial abuse, of white man empowering over the African Americans . For instance the white blindfold tightly covering each African American, representing the white blinding the foreseeable truth of racial hate: as well inferring to the ignorance of the people at that time who could hate a person for the color of
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