Ralph Ellison Writing Styles in Battle Royal; or, The Invisible Man

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Point of View and Narration

The narration is in first person, addressing the reader directly with a direct and honest tone implying a certain naiveté. The narrator is most capable of conveying his confusion. His sense of accomplishment is rendered pathetic by his constant inability to take offense at the inhumane treatment he endures at the hands of his "benefactors." By rendering scenes of physical and psychological violence to the reader in forceful detail and lyrical immediacy, one expects a statement of anger and resistance. Instead, the reader alone seems to understand the demeaning implication of the battle royal as the narrator progresses toward the ultimately triumphant scholarship award. The final mention of the narrator's dream suggests that this absence of indignation is indeed ironic, an irony that is wound more tightly in the novel as a whole.

Setting

The story takes place around eighty-five years after the...

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This section contains 697 words
(approx. 2 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.