Discrimination And Ignorance In The “Battle Royal”

1650 words - 7 pages

Dr. Keaton
Am. Lit. 214
Discrimination and Ignorance in the “Battle Royal”
The government made it hard for African Americans to lead normal lives in the south, after slavery was abolished until the mid nineteen sixties. This was because there was extreme discrimination and racism towards African Americans by the whites, and the government did not do anything to stop this. There were many discriminatory laws in place called the Jim Crow Laws, which basically made it legal for whites to treat blacks with cruelty. In the short story “Battle Royal” by Ralph Ellison, there are many examples of the cruelties done to blacks by whites. Throughout the story, the white men hurt the ...view middle of the document...

The protagonist and the other black boys are sick with confusion. They do not know what to do. The white men are forcing them to look at the woman, but they know that the laws say they could get into deep trouble if they do. Yet these black boys are also teenagers, and most teenage boys would like to look at a pretty woman, so they are deeply conflicted with their thoughts and emotions. The protagonist saw “one boy faint”, and “another boy began to plead to go home” (Ellison 2307). The white men are torturing these poor boys, and they seem to find it funny. The white men were not enjoying the stripper for entertainment; they were enjoying the distraught reactions of the black boys. They thought it would be funny to put them in that position and see their reactions. This is a terrible thing for the white men to do, but the protagonist is not even mad. The only thing he cared about was giving his speech. He felt that these things that were being done to him were just obstacles to hurdle in order to give his speech to the white men.
The white men also tortured the protagonist and his group physically, by forcing them to fight against one another, and by throwing fake coins on an electrified rug. The protagonist and the other boys were blindfolded with white cloth before they were to fight. The whiteness of the blindfolds is a symbol for “the conflict between black manhood and white power in American society” (Blake 123). The blindfolds make the black boys unable to see, and at the mercy of the white men. They have to do what they are told because they know that they could get into trouble otherwise. The protagonist says that “the harder we fought the more threatening the men became” (Ellison 2309). The white men did not care how badly the black boys got hurt, all they wanted was control and entertainment. If they got the black boys to fight each other and hurt each other, it would make the white men stronger against the blacks. After many of the boys are bleeding, including the protagonist, the white men trick the boys into doing more harm to themselves. A rug was “covered with coins of all dimensions and a few crumpled bills” (Ellison 2311). The boys thought that they were going to get paid with whatever they got, but really the “rug was electrified” and they ended up getting electrocuted for a few gold coins (Ellison 2311). The worse part of the whole situation was that “the gold pieces everyone had scrambled for were brass pocket tokens advertising a certain make of automobile” (Ellison 2314). This is terrible. The white men tortured these poor boys by making them fight against each other, and then when they say they are going to get paid, they have to get electrocuted for money that is not even real. This is terrible for any human to do to anyone else, but for these white men to do what they did to a bunch of boys is despicable. These boys were trapped. They were trapped by the laws of the time, by white men who were older and of the...

Other Papers Like Discrimination and Ignorance in the “Battle Royal”

Government And Indigenous Activism Involvement In The Recommendations Of The Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Death In Custody In Australian Politics

3273 words - 14 pages of legislation that discriminates against drug users on the basis of their addiction would result in an even stronger economic and social discrimination of Aboriginal people. Therefore the Australian government was challenged by the Royal Commission to considerably increase funding for drug treatment programs, including education and early intervention strategies. (Provisions of the Disability Discrimination Amendment Bill, 2003)Indigenous

Racial Discrimination and Hispanics in the United States

2817 words - 12 pages immediate social inequality. This social inequality caused segregation and forced the Puerto Rican Americans to work the lowest paying jobs and live in the poorest communities. This paper identifies factors that influence past and present discrimination trends that have lead to the segregation, racial redlining and stereotyping of the Hispanic American in the United States. The term Hispanic was established by the United States Government in the

Employee Discrimination in the Workplace

2471 words - 10 pages Employee Discrimination in the Workplace Abstract In today’s business environment, it is really common to discriminate employees against the law. Employee discrimination is where a worker is treated differently, usually worse than others in the workforce. Most common types of discrimination include race, gender, national origin, religion, age and disability. Over the years, there have been many types of federal laws prohibiting job

“Ignorance, The Root And Stem Of All Evil”

1534 words - 7 pages wake up from their slumber. Upon this, Wayne Dyer says "The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about."Plato believes that philosophers are the best to rule over people. It's partly true considering that they are not materialists and because they have undergone many challenges in life and accordingly have a better sense of what's beneficial for others and what's not. Besides they have already been in the

Discrimination Of The Ainu In Japan

2993 words - 12 pages the AinuThe Japanese and Ainu did not affiliate until around 1400 A.D. when they had their first meetings and began to cordially trade with one another. Although their relationship started off peacefully, the Japanese soon sought to seize Hokkaido from the Ainu. This notion soon led to the battle of Kosyamain in 1457, the battle of Syaksyain in 1669 and the final battle of Kenasiri-Menasi in 1789. The Ainu lost all three battles. After the last

The Gender Battle In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1840 words - 8 pages The Gender Battle in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein The fight for domination amongst the sexes is a battle as old as civilization, where the ideas of gender hierarchies first began. These conflicts often manifest themselves unwittingly through literature, showing subtle signs of deeper tension that has ensued for centuries. The struggle between masculine and feminine becomes apparent through Frankenstein, a battle that results in the death of

To What Extent Did Royal Authority Decline in the Years in the Years 1547-1558

1714 words - 7 pages To what extent did Royal authority decline in the years 1547-1558? (45 marks) The years of 1547-58 have been quite commonly known as the mid-Tudor crisis; therefore this question is asking us, was there a mid-Tudor crisis? Historians such as A.F Pollard and W.R.D Jones believe that yes there was a crisis occurring in the mid-Tudor period which may have had an adverse effect on Royal authority. The view was that there was a crisis in face of

Dunkirk And The Battle Of Britain

3122 words - 13 pages Dunkirk and The Battle of Britain The importance of factors such as determination, fighting spirit, and even organisation cannot be underestimated as important factors in Britain's victory. If there is one thing that the British have been distinguished for, it has to be organisation. On the eve of the Battle of Britain as well as throughout it, they faced two major problems though: a lack of qualified pilots and a

How the Royal Family and British Museums Have Contributed to the Tourism Industry?

1552 words - 7 pages and reasons why the Royal Family attract tourists. Another part is introducing British museums and discussing their value. To begin with, the Royal Family is one of the world’s oldest extant royal family, and every monarch’s coronation ceremonies are strictly adhered to the same tradition exactly, which makes the British royal coronation become the oldest rituals that existing and still holding. In The Queen’s many state and national

To What Extent Did Edward Vi Re-Establish Royal Authority in the Years 1461-1483?

888 words - 4 pages Warwick. Edward, however, did come back to the throne in 1471, increasing his authority in the country. This was mainly because Henry was murdered in the Tower of London, however, Edward’s successes in the battle of Barnet and Tewkesbury did help as he had proved himself as a warrior king, and showed he had the ability to fight for his country. In this way, he did re-establish royal authority, but to a small extent because it was more focused on

The Two Companies Into the Royal Dutch Shell Group Came in 1907. There Were Two Separate Holding Companies with Royal Dutch Taking 60% of Earnings and Shell Transport Taking 40%. the Business Was Run...

852 words - 4 pages called their company The Tank Syndicate but in 1897 renamed it the Shell Transport and Trading Company. Petroleum was also being produced in the East Indies, a Dutch colony, and in 1890 a company had been formed to develop an oilfield in Sumatra. This was the origins of what was to become the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company. Under the management of J.B. August Kessler, they built a pipeline and refinery at Pankalan Brandan. Kessler was joined in

Related Essays

Royal Commissions In Canada: Comparing The Significance Of The Royal Commission On The Status Of Women And The Royal Commission On Aboriginal Peoples

2615 words - 11 pages recommendations will bring equality amongst men and women in the economy (RCSW, 20). The fifth point of comparison is the need for special treatment. In the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, it says that, “in certain areas women will for an interim period require special treatment to overcome the adverse effects of discriminatory practices” (xii). In doing this, the RCSW hopes that by getting rid of most discrimination against women, the

Gender Stereotypes And Discrimination In The Workplace

864 words - 4 pages Gender stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace Introduction Organisations need to participation of diversity gender in workplace, which is very necessary, whereas, still have gender stereotypes and gender discrimination in the workplace. Stereotype refers to individual or specific types of people who have stationary characteristic when people think. As Michael P. (2001) said, stereotypes like a bias when people always accustomed to

Ignorance Towards The Black Community In Canada

732 words - 3 pages Ignorance Towards The Black Community in Canada Canada has been respected for its equality and diversity between it’s races. People refer to it as being the most multicultural diverse countries in the world. Most people think that Canada has no racism like the U.S.A. , however that is not the case at all we have been known to of have racism since the French explorers . We were very bad for racism towards the blacks in the 20th century

Comparison Of Death Of A Salesman, Battle Royal And A Dream Deferred

2643 words - 11 pages bigger rewards, financial freedom and the fruits of labor for their families. This was also a period of mass unemployment and of an economic depression. The theme of “Death of a Salesman”, “Battle Royal and “Dream Deferred” all relate to the pursuit of happiness and the American dream. The ambition of human beings in society and this notion of competition is clearly expressed and portrayed in the above works.Through Miller's