Elements of the Short Story
Ellison's "Battle Royal" and Kincaid's "Girl" were extremely difficult but interesting novels. As I explored these readings, I realized that they had some differences and similarities, but the one's that stood out, helped me get a better understanding of what these individual characters were facing. They displayed very distinct themes However, uncovered very similar social settings.
In Ellison's "Battle Royal" theme, our narrator is physically humiliated in the "Battle Royal" incident and immediately begins a humiliating speech. Humiliation plays their punish game, and he undergoes grotesque transformations throughout, as evidenced by our narrator's service and manipulation of various groups to which he is bound. In contrast Kincaid's "Girl" theme relates to, the relationship of mothers to daughters and daughters to mothers, and it is the interplay of this dynamic that provides the focus of this wonderfully felt and beautifully told story.
In Kincaid's "Girl" the social setting was comparative to Ellison's "Battle Royal" social setting. These characters were both influenced by a social factor, such as the misunderstood grandfather in "Battle Royal" and the concerned mother in the" Girl". This social setting is demonstrated in Ellison's "Battle Royal" when the grandfather is on his deathbed; he said some words that startled his family. He stated, "I never told you, but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy's country ever since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction" (297). This puzzled the family greatly. It was up to them to interpret what the Grandfather meant. Ellison felt confused because he did not understand his Grandfathers cautious way of telling him how the world is, how he will always be the minority and that he must be able to think for himself. In Kincaid's "Girl" her mother states "this is how to love a man, and if this doesn't work there are other ways, and if...
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