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Monica Kempski Block 3 Odd

Battle Royal Essay

The “Battle Royal” scene in Invisible Man was an extremely purposeful scene.
These scenes consist of the proof that the African Americans of society are indeed
invisible.
Much of Ellison’s distinct writer’s technique is full of descriptive and graphic
elaborations. These elaborations serve to convey the seriousness and potential danger of a
“Battle Royal.” Ellison’s portrayals of IM’s thoughts included the nervousness and stress
the brawl among the people. “I could see black, sweat washed forms weaving to the rapid
drum-like thuds of blows.” (23.3) All injuries were inflicted by others for defense in a
vicious brawl. “Blows pounded me from all sides while I struck out the best I could.
(22.5) During the boxing, IM accounts on several injuries he had received. “My saliva
became hot like bitter glue.” (22.6) “feeling as though the smoke had become a knife
jabbed into my guts.”(23.1) “And I lay there, hazily watching a dark red spot of my own
blood shaping itself into a butterfly, glistening and soaking into the soiled gray world of
the canvas. (25.9-26.1) These quotes give the reader an eye opener and a vivid
description of the dread and suffering that whites have placed upon blacks.
This vulgar display for entertainment was no doubt a mockery of the African
American participants. In the novel, the battle served as entertainment for white elites.
These types of battles involve the violent boxing of several men in one ring. The purpose
for an individual in the ring is to prevail over others by seriously wounding the opponent
to the point that the opponent can do no more. Also, many rude comments were made by
the spectators to the boxers during the battle. After the winner had been declared, money
was thrown on a carpet for the participants receive. Unknown to the blacks, the carpet
was electrified. As the blacks tried to take the money, they were shocked. Meanwhile, the
white crowd laughed. The writhing and pain of the blacks was pure entertainment to the
crowd. This was another opportunity for the whites to humiliate the blacks further. These
events combined antagonized the men to beat each other like animals. The senseless
fighting was a perfect hidden metaphor as to what the white elite thought of the blacks; as
animals rather than human beings. By not seeing that the blacks are human beings, they
are invisible. Invisibility forces that population not to be given their rights and their say.
This problem is essential to the story because IM struggles with it throughout the novel.
The “Battle Royal” scene was included by Ellison for the readers to better
understand the cruel treatment of whites to blacks that was a norm. The “Battle Royal” is
just one display of the thoughts of the whites that force the blacks to be invisible in
society.