Battle Royal; or, The Invisible Man Essay

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Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture, specializing in film studies, from the University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in the history of American cinema. In the following essay, Brent discusses figurative language in Ellison's story.

Ralph Ellison's short story, "Battle Royal," first published in 1947, describes an extremely disturbing event, organized by the local elite white men of a Southern town. This event involves the abuse and humiliation of several young black men for the purpose of entertaining a gathering of these prominent and outwardly respectable white men. The narrator of the story, a recent high school graduate, has been invited to repeat a much-celebrated speech he gave at his graduation, in which he emphasizes the importance of "humility" among African Americans. Instead, however, he is grouped with several of the toughest young black men from his high school, and forced to...

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This section contains 2,785 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Battle Royal; or, The Invisible Man Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Battle Royal; or, The Invisible Man from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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