Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal

Topics: Man, Stephen Walt, White people Pages: 4 (1343 words) Published: November 28, 2013
Willie Barron Kelli Gary
EN102 – Section EA
Essay #2 – Using a Critical Perspective
05 March 2010

As I read Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal”, pushes one in the direction of the Marxist perspective. This perspective demonstrates how the dominant white male majority uses its power to summarily subjugate black males in a pugilistic affair. The Marxist perspective is evidently portrayed through the use of human symbols such as hedonistic eroticism, hardcore racism, barbarism in the form of race on race destructive warfare and the sadistic contortion plot laid before the young men that dance and writhe in pain from shock given by the electrified carpet that held the reward of coins. Ralph Ellison gives the reader a real taste of the pungent and raw sanctioned racism that thrived in the United States of America and was served up routinely for the African-American man of his time. What in the psyche of the dominant white male determines their desired to sponsor and attend the Battle Royal?

The psyche of this essay using the Marxist perspective parallels proverbial Freudian slip of saying out loud what you actually mean inside. The dominant ones that reign constant profanity and sewer grist throughout this essay just can not help themselves. The real ego that exist just below the Mason Dixon surface of their unconsciousness cannot be swayed when alcohol or the mob mentally exist. Ellison can not help but pen the repeated calls from the mob in and out of the ring for blood, but not just any blood. The call is for black blood. They want it to flow freely. Some one screamed, “Uppercut him! Kill him! Kill that big boy!”(Ellison, 346) They want to see the blood so that it eases some inner pain, some inner turmoil like a epicurean ointment on a festering wound that will never heal, because history can not be changed. That nigger lover that assassinated...


Cited: Ellison, Ralph, Battle Royal, Literature, Approaches to Fiction, Poetry and Drama, McGraw-Hill Companies, 2008, Print.
Walt, Stephen M. “Why They Hate Us (I): On Military Occupation”
Foreign Policy (2009), 23 Nov 2009, Web.
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