Race and Masculinity
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An examination of racism and cruelty towards African Americans in Ralph Ellison's book, "Battle Royal". The paper explains that in Ellison's story "Battle Royal", powerful symbolism, e.g. that of blind fighting on an electrified rug, is used to significantly portray African Americans' struggle for equality, and to also show both the artificial construction-connection and the degradation of race and masculinity at once. The paper also points out that within Ellison's "Battle Royal", race and masculinity are also deliberately constructed, especially vis-a-vis prejudiced white society, by the African-American author in order to illustrate the conjoining and the degradation, by whites, of African-American race and masculinity.
From the Paper:"Near the end of Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal"; in the scene where the young black narrator finally repeats his recent high school graduation speech to the assembled white businessmen and other pillars of the [racist] community; Ralph Ellison juxtaposes 1940's-era African American typically degraded masculinity, against the dominant but nervous masculinity of the town's leading middle-aged white males. Here, Ellison describes a clearly well planned and orchestrated afternoon of deep racial and sexual humiliation, combined, of the teenage narrator and other black youths his age who are pressured and coerced into fighting one another, supposedly for prize money."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Ellison, Ralph. "Battle Royal." In Invisible Man. New York: The Modern Library, 1994.
- "Invisible Man." 17 May 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Man.html>
- Reid, T.V. Fifteen Jugglers, Five Believers: Literary Politics and the Poetics of American Social Movements. Berkeley, CA: The University of California Press, 1992. 74.
- Sharif, Amin. "Unforgettable Blackness." Chicken Bones: A Journal for Literary and Artistic African American Themes. 24 May 2007 < http://www.nathanielturner.com/ unforgivableblackness.htm>
- Shinn, Christopher. "Masquerade, Magic, and Carnival in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man [sic]. African American Review. June 22, 2002. < http://www. encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-89872240.html>.
Cite this Book Review:
Race and Masculinity (2008, July 06) Retrieved September 29, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/race-and-masculinity-105374/
"Race and Masculinity" 06 July 2008. Web. 29 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/race-and-masculinity-105374/>