Racism in Literature
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This paper examines Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal", Leslie Marmon "Silko's Ceremony", Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and Malcolm X's "The Ballot or the Bullet." It shows how they all offer vivid and important accounts of racism in the United States of America, all present different aspects of the problem and offer different ways of coping with them. More than anything, these texts testify to the continuing problem of racism in America and the multiplicity of forms in which racism can manifest itself.
From the Paper:"Indeed, the manifestations of racism are so heavy within the "Battle Royal" section of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man that it is difficult to pinpoint one single instance of racism, which outshines the others. Indeed, the chapter effectively presages all the manners of racism that will eventually manifest later in the book. The unnamed protagonist who has won a school prize is sent to the white men's club to deliver a speech, but is forced to compete in the Battle Royal instead, a request with which he too willingly complies. He is forced to box a large group of other men blindfolded, to pick coins off an electric carpet (which turn out to be fake coins), and eventually to read his speech with his mouth so full of blood that he can barely speak and is forced to swallow his own blood. The racism throughout the chapter is grotesque and at point absurd, but Ellison uses this absurdity to use the Battle Royal scene as an effective allegory for the rest of the book."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Racism in Literature (2003, July 14) Retrieved August 23, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/racism-in-literature-29056/
"Racism in Literature" 14 July 2003. Web. 23 August. 2014. <http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/racism-in-literature-29056/>