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Battle Royale

In Battle Royal, Ellison uses details of setting to create the mood of horror and repulsion. The horror begins when the narratorlistens to a conversation between his father and grandfather, ashis grandfather lay on his death bed. Son, after Im gone I wantyou to keep up the good fight. I never told you, but our life isa war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in theenemys country ever since I give up my gun back in theReconstruction. Live with your head in the lions mouth. I wantyou to overcome em with yeses, undermine em with grins, agreeem to death and destruction, let em swoller you till they vomitor bust wide open (256). This statement had a great effect onthe narrator, although he wasnt quite sure what it meant. It seta sense of fear in him. And whenever things went well for me Iremember my grandfather and felt guilty and uncomfortable. It wasas though I was carrying out his advice in spite of myself(257).The narrator didnt plan on taking his grandfathers advice, andeach time he found himself doing exactly that, it made him feelguilty. I felt guilt that in some way I was doing something thatwas really against the wishes of the white folks (257). Thiscontinued path of fear and hatred are carried out throughout thestory.Ellison gives the reader the idea of hatred and horror whenhe sets the scene in the ballroom of the hotel. This is where theBattle Royal was to take place. The battle room was filled withsmoke and in the center was the portable boxing ring that was tobe used for the fight. On three sides of the ring, chairs wereplaced for the audience to observe the battle. These audiencemembers were that of an upper-class status, ...bankers, lawyers,judges, doctors, fire chiefs, teachers, merchants. Even one ofthe more fashionable pastors (258). To top it off, they were allwhite as well. Each of them arrived in tuxedos ...wolfing downthe buffet foods, drinking beer and whiskey and smoking blackcigars (257). Ellison was...

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