Essay title: Battle Royal
Battle Royal is a short story about racism, segregation, and being an African
American male trying to succeed in a world that is considered to be a “white world”. In
this paper I will give examples of the different aspects of racism that is shown within the
story, and discuss the different images that the authors uses to represent his theme.
At the beginning of the story a young boy speaks with a dying grandfather who
feels that he has betrayed his black heritage by becoming a trader, a spy for the white race.
When the narrator was young his grandfather told his father, “Son, after I’m gone I want
you to keep up the good fight. 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 gave up my gun in the
Reconstruction. Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to over come ‘em
with yeses, undermine ‘em with grins, agree ‘em to death and destruction, let ‘em swoller
you till they vomit or bust wide open.” This message sets the story off and becomes his
way of life of living, although he was unsure of what his grandfather really meant until he
got older. In this passage you see that the grandfather fought for the lack race that is up
until they were free and he felt there was no need to fight. But, the one mistake that he
made was becoming the “nigga” that they wanted him to be the type to sit back and allow
them (whites) to remain in control. But he wanted his son to stop the cycle to fight for his
race, by becoming the enemies’ friend so that you can be where they are, on top.
It wasn’t until the middle of his life that he realized what