Battle Royal

The Theme of Race and Human Nature in Battle Royal

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The analysis and depiction of how society treats its members is a much explored one today, yet the argument that society can be cruel and hateful was highly rejected at the time of these works’ publications, which is the argument that both Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” and Shirley Jackson’s “Lottery” makes. For instance, “Lottery”, which was published in 1948, caused a scandal because at the time Americans saw themselves as part of a great and helpful country that had just defeated a great enemy in WWII. In “Lottery” a small town engages in a lottery, where the representative of a family draws a paper with a black dot, then each member of that family draws from the black box which holds the pieces of paper, one person draws the paper with the black dot, and in turn be stoned to death. In the story, the Hutchinson family’s Tessie, the mother, gets the black dot and her community quickly turns on her, even in a hurry to get to their noon supper. Ellison’s recreation of a specific event of extreme racism and hate also stirs up feelings that Americans rather not admit. The narrator in “Battle Royal” grows up with the problematic words of his grandfather who was on his deathbed, always having mixed feelings about his place in society. For his graduation, he gives a speech about humility and the powerful white men in the community have a gathering and he is invited to give his speech—but not without first being forced to take a beating from other young black boys, and doing the same to them too, followed with a painful and embarrassing event driven by the promise of money. The lives of the characters in both stories are used to depict human nature in an unflatteringly raw state because they are controlled by the standards that make up their environments. Jackson provides readers with a specific situation expressing the dangers of blindly following tradition while Ellison presents readers with a horror scene that expresses the cruel treatment of blacks by powerful white men who are also following a tradition—racism. The innocent and unknowing narrator of “Battle Royal” explores a way to respond to racism through his state of confusion and uncertainty throughout the story. Tessie, the unfortunate victim chosen by the lottery to be stoned to death in “Lottery” is a declaration of what happens when one doesn’t question an established societal habit enough, or questions it much too late. In “Battle Royal” and “Lottery”, a crudely revealing depiction of human nature is presented through the most important characters from each story that represent specific statements about humans.

While “Lottery” is a story that reminds readers of a fairy tale—one gone wrong—that probably has never happened, and “Battle Royal” is grounded in historical reality, they are greatly similar concerning the specific ways human nature is expressed using the characters from the stories. Thomas Du Bose writes an article in Masterplots about the lottery where he says the town members are introduced as wholesome people, they have stereotypically normal attitudes and lives—so when they turn on their friend, a member of their community, it is hard to gulp down and understand (2). This quickness to become murderers, even the little kids, presents another idea about human nature. Humans have the instinct to not feel sympathy when one feels so strongly that they are doing the right thing, they lack the motivation to question one’s actions even when it is obvious they are causing harm. On the other hand, the white community in “Battle Royal” most likely decide to act the way they do, they have the choice to engage in the horrid acts of racism and cruelty, but the choose to do it anyways. This greatly opposes the community in “Lottery” because that community is simply following the crowd, and actually believes that what they are doing is right, while the ‘upstanding’ white community in “Battle Royal” acts the way they do because it is a form of enjoyment. The image that Ellison creates of these men praising on the battle royal and that Jackson creates when the people begin to pick up rocks and walk toward Tessie reminds readers of mob violence, and the science behind it. These big groups of characters are representative of another statement that goes beyond mob violence and includes the setting, or restriction of the place these communities exist in.

Both stories consist of small towns and a relatively small community, thus allowing for an intimate relationship between the author’s intention for the stories’ themes to be and the character’s roles. Editor Bernice M. Murphy’s book of compiled essays on Shirley Jackson includes an essay about England gothic that says, “much of the tale’s power lies in the fact that, were one unfamiliar with the author and he origins of the tale, one could imagine it taking place in virtually any isolated rural community” (113). These small towns greatly influence the way the authors manipulate their characters to make a statement about society. Mob violence becomes prominent in these stories when the violence begins and the violence itself sets up both protagonists’ responses to the predicaments they are put in. In “Battle Royal”, the ‘mob’ is the white men chanting on the battle royal the young black boys are forced to participate in. In this battle royal scene, the narrator is finally forced to question his previous thought of humility being the right thing, the right way to go through life. In “Lottery”, the people in the small town were all convinced that the lottery was the right thing to do simply because “there’s always been a lottery”, and Tessie, the victim, is also given a chance to question the tradition the town has always followed (Jackson 142). In Ellison’s story, the narrator makes the ‘mistake’ of saying “social equality” rather than “social responsibility”, and quickly the room goes silent, and the narrator rushes to correct himself or he knows a beating similar to the one he just experienced was coming his way (Ellison, 275). Tessie and the narrator of “Battle Royal’ are protagonists thrown into a situation where they are faced with a choice of conforming to what is expected of them, or not, and risk a level of expulsion from the community.

The protagonists of the stories are the narrator in “Battle Royal” and Tessie in “Lottery”—each character is developed through backstory, given unique characteristics that work to illustrate their current level of conformity and to lead to their transformation concerning their situation in their community. The narrator recalls his upbringing as a young black boy up until his high school graduation. As a young boy, he hears his dying grandfather’s words saying that he is a spy who asks his family to “keep up the good fight” by teaching his acts of undermining the white men to the “young’uns” (Ellison 268). Editor John M. Reilly’s book of compiled essays includes an essay by Floyd R. Horowitz where he says, “At first we find him like a bear, by his own admission. He was to learn the tradition of Booker T. Washington—practical service to the Negro community, humble dignity (at least in public), intellectualized acceptance of white authority” (32). In his childhood, he is a good student who idealizes humility, this becoming obvious to readers when the narrator mentions his graduation speech, which he talks about with much fervor and passion, he is obviously quite excited to give his speech. Yet when he actually does get the chance to give his speech, the white men do not even listen, and he is rewarded with more conformity—a scholarship to a Negro state college. After participating in the battle royal and being electrocuted, it is obvious he is not as confident in his beliefs of humility as he was before. This transformation is similar to the one that happens to Tessie. She is introduced in the story as the woman who forgot it was lottery day, she was doing her chores and then realized what day it was and ran to the gathering. At the end, she protests saying that the way her family, and eventually her, were chosen was not fair, she says that they didn’t have enough time to properly pick out the slip of paper. This moment that is similar to an epiphany moment happens to both characters—Tessie realizes that the tradition they have isn’t ‘fair’, and the narrator is introduced to the idea that the white man’s tradition of racism is not fair and will only always keep down the black community.

In “Lottery”, the three most important characters that represent different human tendencies or natures are Tessie, Old Man Warner, and Mr. Summers. Tessie, the woman who ends the story with her protests about the lottery and her unfortunate death, had such a free spirit that she actually forgot about the lottery that day. She only expressed disagreement with the lottery once her family was in danger—this presents the idea that people are selfish, yet also perhaps that a community is forced to accept tradition and only has the opportunity to protest once there’s a threat to one’s life (Du Bose 2). It is almost as if people are held captive until they have a reason to stop thinking similarly to everyone else who are accepting of everything that is thrown at their feet. The person who promotes this exact idea is Old Man Warner who has participated in the lottery for 77 years. Du Bose refers to Warner as “the embodiment of rigid tradition” who strongly believes that the lottery allows them to survive, both mentally and physically. Amongst Warner’s few lines, Warner mentions a saying that he obviously believes in, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson 142). No one in the town remembers many details about the lottery, and many parts of the tradition they have stopped doing, or simply have forgotten. They are continuing the lottery “out of habit and sheer inertia”, says Du Bose. Due to their lack of knowledge of how to proceed with the tradition step by step, the town has unofficially selected a man, Mr. Summers, to lead the lottery, which includes creating the slips of paper, calling people up to take their slips, and once a certain family “wins”, calling the members of the family to take a slip, where one person will get the fateful slip with a black splotch, sealing their fate. Mr. Summers is well trusted and respected, which becomes ironic when readers find out what exactly he is leading—which resembles greatly a witch hunt. William Nelles writes in Masterplots: Women’s Literature Series an article analyzing the “Lottery” where he says, “A number of specific targets have been suggested for Jackson’s story, including American society’s obsession with finding scapegoats during the years of the Cold War and the House Un-American Activities Committee witch-hunts” (2). The person who ends up dead essentially did nothing wrong, they simply picked out the wrong piece of paper, and readers can quickly catch on to the inference Jackson is making about American history—which includes the numerous acts of violence without reasoning, including witch hunts, lynching, and any other acts that readers can think of.

In “Battle Royal”, there are two individual characters who represent the most prominent ideas about human nature, and one large group, the white community. The characters in “Battle Royal” that are representative of the statements Ellison is making are slightly different than to the ones in “Lottery” because of the setting with which these statements will apply to—the battle royal. The white community resembles the town in “Lottery” concerning the idea of mob violence because when the violence began, the image that the authors create for readers are quite similar and readers get the feel of one against the many. In this story, a group of young boys are blindfolded, beating each other for no reason other than survival and involuntary habit, while the white people bellow shouts of enjoyment and intoxication. The rich and powerful are a tool that Jackson uses to interrogate the way of life in America—she questions the understanding that being in a respected position and in a good economical state means someone cannot have bad morals (Du Bose 2). While the men chant on the battle royal, the narrator undergoes the beginning of a radical transformation that is told completely in Ellison’s novel “Invisible Man” where “Battle Royal” is the first chapter. Tessie and the narrator realize similar things about society in the stories, but there are different circumstances and characters that help them do this. Towards the end of the battle royal, the narrator is left with one other boy in the ring, named Tatlock. They are both badly beaten by this time, and the narrator offers that Tatlock fakes defeat so that they don’t keep on fighting, but Tatlock responds with, “I’ll break your behind,” and the narrator asks sarcastically if he is doing this for the audience, and Tatlock says he is doing it for himself. Andrew MacDonald writes an article in Masterplots: Short Story Series about “Battle Royal” and says,

“[A theme,] Social Darwinism, which metaphorically encourages individuals to fight to the finish in order to receive rewards; the ways in which the black community’s strongest and wiliest members take advantage of their fellows, refusing to cooperate against the common white enemy just as Tatlock refuses to fake defeat; the corrupting influence of prizes and praise on the narrator himself; and the need for the white establishment to maintain American responses to racism and politics.”

Just as Tatlock refuses to fake defeat, Tessie’s husband refuses to help her, in fact, he takes action to make sure she shows the slip of paper and that she stops protesting. In both stories there is ideology about good versus evil, and the group of white men are the embodiment of evil in this story, creating the harsh environment that blacks must endure, thus creating the struggles they go through. Ellison created “Battle Royal” to describe the feelings of someone unsure of how to respond to racism, as well as to discuss the negative effects of throughout many different kinds of peoples’ lives. It is to describe what it is like to not know what hatred is yet, and how the effects can impact a person’s life, no matter the culture or race. The “narrator’s innocence and decency is so effectively conveyed that readers of all races and cultures can understand the problems that he faces,” says MacDonald.

Overall, the characters play a vital role because they act as step-ins, or representations, for the statements each author is making. Each character has a different purpose, and eventually the inferences made from the existence of those characters accumulates to a critical understanding concerning the depiction about human nature that is being made. Although each character is different, there is one piece from each story that acts as the ribbon on the present, that ties everything together in order to make a relation from how Tessie and the narrator from “Battle Royal” changed throughout the story. Ellison and Jackson throw in similar symbolic ideas that ground the protagonists of their stories into the socially conforming standards that control their lives. The narrator of “Battle Royal” writes a speech that declares “humility is the essence of progress”, an idea intensely similar to Booker T. Washington’s ‘cast down your bucket where you are’ (Ellison 269). The black box in “Lottery” is representative of the small town’s tradition and makes sure that the community does not stray from the tradition, it forges together everything that led to having the lottery and everything that happened afterwards. Similarly, the narrator of “Battle Royal’s” speech proves that the narrator has not yet and cannot yet question his place, thus cannot accept nor understand his dying grandfather’s words. In addition, but the speech refers to the power that the white community in his society held over him, their power made him think that humility, accepting your place, is what will eventually lead one to be considered as equal. Ellison and Jackson use their characters to attack the numerous forms of violence and “destructive social behaviors” (Nelles 3). Both Tessie and the narrator of “Battle Royal” undergo a transformation where they realize that there is something wrong with what is going on around them, with the tradition their community follows—whether it be the lottery or racism.

Read more

The Symbolic Layer and its Significance in the Battle Royal

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

A Symbolic Battle

Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. Many authors use symbolism to get readers thinking about the message and overall theme of their stories. Symbolism gives a deeper meaning to seemingly vague ideas. It gives readers a chance to dig deeper into the theme, and allow new ideas to flow. Ralph Ellison used many symbols in his short to show the ongoing struggle of African American people for equality. Multiple research papers have shown the theme of equality for his story “Battle Royal,” and how it is conveyed through Ralph Ellison’s use of symbolism.

Ralph Ellison was born March 1, 1914 Oklahoma City, OK. He was an African-American writer best known for his award-winning novel Invisible Man. The invisible man was published in 1952. The novel focuses on a Civil rights worker form the South who moved up north and felt isolated because of the racism he encountered. Ellison wrote The Invisible Man on farm in Vermont. The Invisible Man was on best seller lists for weeks. The following year after the Invisible man was released it won the National book award. The short story that he is most known for is Battle Royal.

In the story Battle Royal a young man is haunted by his grandfather’s dying words. His grandfather tells him to smile in the enemies face but remember the fight for equality. He encourages he grandson to do whatever it takes to gain equality. The young man was considered to be intelligent for a black man, and he was allowed to give a speech for some of the most prestigious white men in town. The speaker was very nervous upon attending this event because he wanted everything to be perfect for these white men. This symbolized that black people searched for validation of self-worth and achievement through white people’s acceptance. At the beginning of the story the speaker aspired to be like Booker T. Washington. Washington believed that if black people worked hard and was educated, it would help them gain equality. However, Ellison contrasted that idea by showing that an education without a voices does not make a black person invincible to injustices and inequality He was considered special because he was smart and black, but he was not considered equal to the white men. He shows how black people where quickly reminded of their place in society when the speaker arrived at the event and was forced to fight like his school mates.

When it was time to prepare for the battle royal he is stripped of his clothing and placed in a fighting wring. When the young man was stripped of his original clothing it symbolized slavery and how the slaves were stripped of their land, and culture. When he was forced into the ring it symbolized America. Ellison never hinted that the young man was a fighter so the ring was foreign place that speaker knew nothing about. The ring was the equivalent of what America was for the slaves. He was blindfolded and told to fight other black men. They didn’t know why they were fighting all they knew was they were told to fight and so they did. The blindfold represents the blindness of black people of the time. They felt like they did not have a voice and they were afraid to speak out. However, as the story goes along, readers see the determination to give his speech. While he was fighting his mind was on giving his speech. He was determined to give his speech because he knew it also meant a reward for him. The thought process of the speaker was symbol for African American readers to stay focused on the goal of equality.

The electric rug was another part of the fight for equality. The harsh conditions of the working class black American was symbolized by the electric rug. All the young men were being electrocuted by the rug trying to get the money. This was an everyday reality for them. They had to work the worst jobs for low pay just to survive. “The speaker says “It felt as though my back had been beaten with wires.” The pain on is back was a representation of slavery.” They were still like slaves working for nothing while trying to survive in a world where they were treated as animals. In Ellison’ time period a lot of black people still felt owned by white people. They had little independence and depended on white people to get what they needed. (Jennifer Smith)

The speaker is finally able to give his speech at end of the story. His reward was a briefcase with a scholarship to the state college for black people. The scholarship was men to be a symbol of dominance over black people for the white men, however it was a symbol of progression. The young man is now put in the position to make a big impact on social injustices because he can obtain a higher education He now has the tool he needs to advance his race in the fight for equality. He was the good boy and did what he was told and he received the ultimate reward.

Battle Royal symbolizes the fight for equality and all that was sacrificed for equality. Ellison used “Battle Royal” to show the hardships of African Americans and to also to remind them to never give up fighting. Through the story the speaker goes through pain and humiliation but he is still focused on his goal to deliver his speech. The symbolism in this story help portray the theme of equality.

Read more

Realism in the Film The Battle of Royale

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer


In this paper, I will examine, also analyze the Battle of Royale film within the perspective of realism. Battle of Royale is a Japanese made film which is released in 2000, directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The film is a combination of imagination and reality which analyze IR perspective in practice. It is true that tragedy within film resting on IR concept explain the IR hypothesis function of myth, also overall intention of it. We can see the different level of analysis such as system, state and individual level within the movie that explain the war reasons and enable us to interpret anarchic people structure and inborn actions. The movie contributes to explain the concepts and terms of realism theory in a perfect way through depictions of the film, which provide us to understand in some way explaination of the realism myth ’’ anarchy is the permissive cause of war. ’’and Kennetz Walt’s realist perspective. (Weber, 2014, s. 14 -17)

Battle of Royale Film Within the Scope of Realism Perspective

In the film, some students are sent to an island in which they had to survive for three days through foods and ammunition. The provisions of the island are hard to survive, but we observe that some students try to cooperate with each other so as to survive. On the other hand, in the movie, we can see numerous conflicts which can prove that people can turn into evil if not they are carefully directed. In this movie, everything, including sound effect, explain the cruelty of human nature in the absence of an adult. Moreover, it gives an idea that absence of adult can lead to severe negative effect on society, also which can be the reason of destruction of a society. As we see in the movie human nature is greedy, which represents the powers in world politics. In the beginning of the film, we see that Japan economy showed a large decline with %15 unemployment. Adults in the Japan are depressed with this desperate economic condition, also many students boycott their school administrations and crime ratio increases in higher rates. After this bad conditions, the government announced an action called Battle Royal act. In this scope, when we consider the Japan conditions, we can say that country is not run in a efficient way, in other words, there is a lack of central government. Therefore, there is an anarhic environment that people don’t trust their government, which explain the individual level of analysis that is as result of bad leader who lead people to involve in criminal activities and creates anarchic environment.

It is the beginning of the movie that we are seeing a girl who returns from recent year battle royal after her victory, who has a ruthless smile on her face that apparently shows the bad nature of human. She might be a winner, but we consider the situation in an moral perspective within the scope of the individual analysis level, we can say that although she kills a lot of innocent people, power can effectively alter the behaviour of human and change them into evil-minded. Actually, it is human nature that when people keep the power their own hand, these situations are inevitable. The failure of the government to run the nation clearly means people’s innate feeling of considering somebody as a leader. Individuals are hesitant to think somebody as their leader so that they include in conflicts, which in reality clarifies the behavior of human being as anarchic.

It is the beginning of the film that there are 43 individuals who play basketball happily, but which do not take long time because events turn into evil. They are traveling bus and enjoying with each other, but they find themselves surrounded with full of soldiers. We see in the film that a boy asking for whether he come back home if he kills other friends, which represent individuals’ transition from a hierarchical society to an anarchical society.

Girls living on the watchtower, who have a normal life. Nevertheless, when Nanahara comes to the watchtower, Yuko is troubled with him since Nanahara kills her best friend named Oki accidentally. Yuko mixes poison to Nanahara’s food in order to kill him, but one of the girls called Yuka eats poisoned food and dies. Then, conflicts among girls starts. Satomi holds the weapon and shoots girls since Satomi considers that someone poisoned Yuka in order to kill her. At end of the this conflict, apart from Yuko, all girls die. Yuko jumps from tower and dies after understanding fault of her. Actually, this scene signifies the anarchical structure, when Yuki yells “Stupid! We might have all survived, we are all so stupid. ”Since lack of leadership between them, which scene shows us the anarchic environment.

In the realism perspective , one of the most important concept is power and increase it as much as possible. After the realizing the importance of power, friendship can also be destroyed. It is like seeing half empty of a glass of water. Mostly, Realists see the world as a tragedy and evil. Tragedy means that in the world politic there is a lack of central government and thus structure is anarchic and innate power of human being is evil by nature.

In the movie, we see that Nanahara’s father hungs himself owing to getting tired with life, also due to unemployed and incapable of looking after his children fully. When we consider this situation in a realistic aspect, actually it is difficult for weak people to live in the planet, so checks out power politics which explain the Kenneth Waltz’s theory of Anarch and realistic ideologies.

It is the time when Japanese economy experiences with a sharp decline, students do not attend the class. Few students show respect their teacher, especially Noriko is showing respect her teachers exclusively Kitano who is stabbed and wounded by Yoshitoki. After this events, teacher Kitano leaves their job and plans for taking revenge from middle school students. Due to Noriko’s respect to Kitano, he is compassionate toward Noriko while he is the controller in the battle Royale. We can clearly say that people are innate selfish within the their nature and show no good attention to others. Also, it is true that people always look for subjective, expected benefits, even when making a logical decision. Moreover, we can say that selfishness provides war with permissive and appears that anarchy eventually cause to war and hence can be the reason behind the permissive cause of war.

After Kitano leaves from school, 3-B class students go for a field trip, but they do not aware of going different place where they can not come back. It is the night when all students asleep, except Nanahara nobody realized that they are being taken to military camp. When student wake up, they see themselves in a place which surrounded with soldiers, also there are necklaces each student’ head, which is waterproof and sock proof, also can be burst with remote. Then, Kitano appears with his murderous look, who firstly kills the other teacher being loved so much by students. When students see the dead body of him, chaos environment happens, but students can not do anything even thoough some seem to go against Kitano since they are surrounded with military forces. Then, all students are being sit and being watched a video which is concerning about rules and regulations of game. At that time since one student makes a noise, Kitano slashes the knife to her forehead. After seeing this event, Nobu go against Kitano, but killed by bursting of bomb necklace in his neck. Seeing this all students understand the seriousness of situation and do not dare to make any noise and carefully listen the regulations and rules of game.

When we look at the regulations and rules of game, they do not clearly motivate students for unification rather provoke discrimination within the students. This game is an indication of bad nature of human being. In a realist perspective, we can consider the island as a state which do not motivate people to cooperate and collaboration instead motivate people to include in violence. In the movie, island is a small place where the violence reaches the peak. Actually, island can be a place where there is collaboration and cooperation, but students make it cruelty and violence place.

Students are given foods and weapons for survival. Each student are given different type of weapon, so some students have natural advantages to kill others, which implies the people’s selfish interests within themselves and chiefly include in subjective expected utility although they have realistic choice paradigm. Actually, rationally within people motivate them to look for their own good instead of considering the benefits of other people, which explain the realistic perspective of world.

After battle of Royale starts, we see bad human nature. Everyone is trying to kill one another in order to get the best weapons possible since selfish people behaviours motivate students to obtain much more power. Actually, It can not be true that to kill someone only for survival as a legitimate action, instead of which oncoming scenes show that transfer student Kwada find a solution for getting away from battle of Royale with cooperation and mutual effort that can be the best way to overcome issues.

In the movie we see that two girls speaks from mike and waving their hand in order to unite and stop the battle. After the announcing, other student kills them. This event clearly shows the evil nature of human and hence don’t let to have good thoughs or mind to be demonstrated in front of everyone. This is the critical point in the realistic perspective of anarchy and which approves the permissive cause of war. When the other students listen the announcement of two girls to unite, it can be the higher possibility to survive, but since people pay much more attention of their self-view continous conflict is inevitable.

It is argued that due to structure of the game killing each other can be justifiable. However, we see in the movie that with cooperation it is the possible to escape from island. One of the student who is hacker hacks into system and deactivates the necklace and trace system, which can be the way to stop the game and escape from island. However, rather than cooperate with each other due to human evil nature they start to kill each other in order to gain power. Actually, they can come together and collaborate with each other so that they follow the hacker friend way to get out from island. (Stafford, 2013)

After the beginning of the game, twelve student are dead within the first six-hour, also four students suicide. Actually, discrimination in multi polor system is quite normal in a realist perspective. In the realism based on power politics, it is quite common to consider a place in which only for strong people and hence weak people are cleared out unrecognized as suggested and appeared within the movie.

Kriyama and Kwada are transferred student. Kuriyama is so much dangerous, also violent students, who target achieving the victory within the game, while another transferred student Kwada, who is winner of the recent game, is not violent as much as Kuriyama, also has merciful attitutes toward Nanahara, also Noriko. Kawada collaborates and cooperates with Nanhara and Noriko in order to get away from island. Kuninobu is the Nanahara’s best friend and he fall in love with Noriko although never tell her. After Kuninobu’s death,Noriko is protected by Nanahara for the sake of Kuninobu(best friend of Nanahara). Other characters such as Chigusa is brave, also no intention to kill other. However, when one of her friend named Niida attacks her, she fights back and kills him, but due to getting bad injured, she died after meeting with her best friend. Mitsuka is the most bravest and the most violent girls among them. She is so proactive in the battle. She is ready to do what it takes to win the battle. She even killed the her best friend to survive and succeed in the game, which signifies the evil human nature, also shows that people are profoundly interested in their own self-interest regardless of others interest. They want to gain power as much as possible, which is main argument as backed by realistic perspective.

We see that people are trying to find the best safer place and hence including in various conflicts with each other. Firstly, Kawada seeks for a place in which there are medical supplies and foods, also some students find the watchtower as to get a safer place for living. We can say that theory of territoriality is visible within the state with second level of analysis. Also, It shows that it is innate nature of government of the state to obtain as much territory as possible.

At the end of the movie, Nanahara and Noriko are the only two people to succeed survival. However, if they were not subjectively organized by their ex-teachers, there could be other students. Indeed in spite of the fact that Kwada makes it, in any case he could not make his way off the island. However, He is so happy to help Nanahara and Noriko so as to escape from island. Although they are told only one person will win the game, Noriko and Nanahara prove to possible way to get out from island and shows the possibility of mutual effort and collaboration among student. As there is no collaboration among students, which clearly explain the evil human nature and evilness is the main reason of conflict, which can bring about serious consequences, also might even lead to war.

Fear and Anarchy Myth of Waltz

Kenneth Waltz assume that Anarch is the main component for the causes of conflict. However, we can not ignore the function of fear, which lead to change the behaviour of human being. Fear is the one of the most important key component in terms of the anarchic nature of human beings. In the movie, we see in the most of scenes that the function of fear, also I include some of them to show the function of fear that change the behaviour of people.

In the movie, when Nanahara see the killing of Tendo by Nakagawa, which get afraid him and lead to trying to kill Nakagawa although he is shown as the most rational student in the movie. We can say that function of fear leads such a rational people to kill their friend. Anarchy is not enough to explain this situation,it is the fear that has potential function to change behaviour of human and causes the evil nature of human being.

Secondly, we see that a group of girls live on the top of watch tower, which signifies that the students are trying to succeed anarchy within the hierarchy. Since Nanahara is badly injured, they cooks food mainly for him. However, Yuko tries to kill Nanahara, who kills Yuko’s best friend accidentally, by putting poison inside the food, but mistakely another girl eats the food and dies immediately. And then distrustful environment happens among them, which lead to fear and violent between them. At the end of conflict, except Yuko, who put the poison inside food, all-girls die. Due to feeling guilty, Yuko throw herself from watch tower and suicides. We can say the critical key component behind the death of all girls, which is the function of fear that lead to turn into a violent battle and make a bloody battle among them.

It is true that fear is the crucial component in the myth function of realism. Fear makes it possible to change the behavior of anarchy in a society. Function of fear makes the anarchy as an ideology which is fulfilled. In the example given before, after the putting poison inside food, if there is no fear and disbelief among girls, it can be the possible to see cooperation among them. Since there is no violence among them, they could continue to survive until the recent day of battle Royale game. However, function of fear market them involve in violence and include in bloody fight. Unless it is the function of fear, anarchy lose its meaning and hence no longer be a permissive cause of war.

Conclusion and Summary of Movie

Level of Analysis

Individual Level of Analysis:

  • Owing to unemployment, there is mistrust and lack of confidence against government.
  • Although students have a commitment to cooperate with each other, they kill the each other.
  • Within the scope of theory of territoriality, students in the island try to create their own territory.

State level of analysis:

  • Students are imposed on rules and regulations within the battle of Royale game.
  • Students hesitate to collaborate with each other since the battle Royale game has an anarchical concept.
  • There is a struggle between 9th class students and exchange students so as to survive.

System-level of analysis:

  • After the game starts, due to anarchical structure of environment students’ behaviors turn into violence within the island.
  • Examination behaviour of stundents and favoring one kid whom teacher has a sensivity toward her.

Balance of Power

In order to provide balance between 9th students and exchange students, who are much more stronger when we compared to other students, weak students come together to kill transfer students from the recent year’s battle Royale.

Function of Fear

After the poisining events among girls on the watchtower, which leads to fear and disbelieving among them. The function of fear cause to change the behaviour of students which weakens the anarchy of Kenneth Waltz. Moreover, After introduction the rules and regulations of battle of Royale game, which lead to fear among the students and students start to kill each other so as to survive.

The Transition from Hierarchy into Anarchy

It signifies the hierarchial environment that student plays basketball and they have a regular life, while after the student are taken to island into the battlefield in which they have to survive killing each other, which symbolizes the transition to anarchical environment.

Read more

A Comparative Study of Ralph Ellison’s Battle Royal and Prologue with Excerpts from The Invisible Man

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Black & Invisible

Is it possible for a man to be invisible? Did African Americans go through racial torment even after the placement of the Thirteenth Amendment? In the novel The Invisible Man, the narrator guides readers through how it f[2] eels to be unseen by the world around them[3] and the racial experiences he faced as a black man in the 1940-1950”s. In Ralph Ellison’s “Prologue” and “Battle Royal” excerpts from The Invisible Man Ellison[4] helps create a clear understanding of how he experienced racism and racial cruelty, how it is to be figuratively invisible and how being invisible affected him.

In the chapter “Battle Royal” the narrator experiences racial cruelty and constructs a vivid picture through words of his experiences to help readers understand exactly what he was going through[5] . Before the fight at the Battle Royal the narrator is blindfolded. While waiting he hears white men yelling racial slurs and threats involving him and the other black man around him such as “I want to get at that ginger-colored nigger [and] tear him limb from limb,” and “let me at those black sonsabitches” (Ellison 17). The narrator faces this cruelty again after the fight when the other men and he are award money and riches on a electrical rug. Before being signaled to grab the money he hears a white man make another racist comment, hearing “these niggers look like they’re about to pray; ” then, after being given the okay the narrator jumps for the first gold coins he sees and suddenly “A hot, violent force tore through [his] body, [causing him to] shake like a wet rat, [to his surprise] the rug was electrified” (Ellison 21). The white men sternly insisted they should get the money yelling “pick it up, goddamnit, pick it up” before trying to force and push them onto the rug (Ellison 21). The white men continued to behave this way for a long time before they decided stop.

Eventually many years later the narrator falls victim to becoming figuratively invisible and explains how it is to readers in the “Prologue” by generating an understandable concept. He describes to readers that he’s not physically invisible yet people refuse to acknowledge his existence “only [seeing his] surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination” (Ellison 3). The narrator tells of how its can be an advantage when wanting to passively “fight against [the sleepwalkers] (the men) without them realizing it” and how he’s “been carrying on a fight with Monopolated Light & Power for some time now, using their services and paying them nothing at all, and they don’t know it” (Ellison 4-5). He also goes over how being invisible has its disadvantages as well because of the way “[it’s] often rather wearing on the nerves,” and how it causes a man too “often [question] and doubt if [they] really exist” (Ellison 3-4). The narrator explains that ever since he became invisible he feels alive and believes life otherwise is death.

As a final point in the “Prologue” the narrator goes through a situation where he’s invisibility effectively causes him to snap and nearly almost kill a man. He explains how “he began to bump people back” due to the resentment produced from doubting your existences which comes along with being invisible; therefore, causing a altercation one night when he accidentally bumps into a white man (Ellison 3-4). The white man called him an insulting name and cursed at him when he asks for an apologie. The words finally get to the narrator and he begins to beat him senselessly “[kicking] him repeatedly, in a frenzy because he still uttered insults though his lips… [than] in his outrage got out a knife and prepared to slit his throat” (Ellison 4). He then remembers how he is invisible to the white man and his attack was just nightmare in the eyes of the white man so he leaves him alone and continues on.

In Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” and “Prologue” from The Invisible Man the unnamed narrator helps form an understandable concept of how it is to be figuratively invisible and how being invisible affected him, racism, and racial cruelty. As a young man the narrator is put into a fight at the Battle Royal where he experiences racism, being surrounded by racial comments and threats. He also experience racial cruelty when him and other black man are forcefully pushed on to a electrical carpet for amusement. The narrator then explains to readers how its is being invisible and how it has its ups and downs; on one hand you can use it as an advantage while on another it can drive a man insane. Lasty The narrator tells how being invisible effects him mentality and how that gets him caught up in a physical altercation with a white man; he beat the white man to near death and briefly decides to kill him and later releases and the eyes of him he is invisible so he lets the white man live and leaves. To conclude the narrator shows that being a black man in the 1940’s-1950’s is tough but being a unseen black man is a challenge of its own.

Read more

Ralph Ellison’s Battle Royal: a Look at the Theme of Racism

May 6, 2021 by Essay Writer

Post-Slavery America: Racism in “Battle Royal”

Civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois described the beginning of slavery as “’the transportation of ten million human beings out of the dark beauty of their mother continent into the new-found Eldorado of the West. They descended into hell’” (qtd in Graff 184). DuBois, born after the legal abolition of slavery, understood the lack of equality free blacks faced in a nation accustomed to slavery. Ralph Ellison, a successful author of the Civil Rights Era, drew inspiration for many of his most famous works from his personal experiences growing up. The grandson of slaves and raised by his widowed mother, Ellison wrote about the struggles African Americans experienced growing up in America (“Ralph Ellison”). In his short story “Battle Royal,” Ralph Ellison uses the fighters’ experiences to illustrate the continued racism African Americans faced post-slavery.

The history of racism after the abolition of slavery is imperative to understanding the experiences of the battle royal fighters. Even after 1865 when the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States, blacks continued to struggle with racist sentiments (“House Joint Resolution”). Racism toward blacks persisted, and this aversion to African American equality eventually led to widespread white fears about inter-racial sexual relations and anxieties regarding economic competition from blacks (Rattansi 44). Although the law regarding slavery changed, society’s demeaning attitude toward blacks did not. As result, several Southern states adopted what came to be known as “Black Codes,” which prohibited blacks from acquiring industrial and skilled work, and confined them to field labor and sharecropping (Rarransi 44). Research related to wealth accumulation suggests wealth improves a person’s social and economic status (O’Connell 715). The unspecialized, low-wage jobs blacks were limited to prevented them from moving up in society or escaping poverty. All of these actions occurred after the abolition of slavery, highlighting the post-slavery racism African Americans faced. In “Battle Royal,” the results of social and economic oppression of blacks is shown through the actions of the fighters.

The battle royal fighters were forced to fight due to social constraints and financial necessity. In “Battle Royal,” the narrator is a perfect example of the “ideal black person” in the eyes of a white citizen. As the narrator words it, “I was praised by the most lily-white men in town” (Ellison). The narrator is so highly praised, that he is invited to give his graduation speech at a gathering of his town’s leading white citizens. Upon his arrival, the racism fueling the battle royal is revealed when the narrator is told the conditions of his speech. In order to deliver his speech, the narrator must first partake in the battle royal, a brutal fight to the end being held by the white audience members in the name of entertainment. A monetary prize would be awarded to the last fighter standing. Due to the economic limitations thrust upon blacks during this time period, the fighters were willing to partake in the battle royal for a chance at the monetary prize.

In the time period in which “Battle Royal” takes place, Blacks were discriminated against in the workplace. Two prominent forms of this discrimination were the convict leasing system and sharecropping. Sharecropping was “a system in which black families would rent small plots of land in return for a portion of their crop to be given to the landowner at the end of each year” (“Sharecropping”). In theory, sharecropping was a considerable idea, but the reality of this system led to further African American turmoil. As newly freed individuals, blacks owned neither money nor land. As result, the landowners from which blacks would rent acreage were all white men, many being former slave masters. Because blacks had no money, all of their farming supplies had to come from the white land owners, who would lend the blacks supplies on a credit. This credit became a vicious cycle blacks were never able to fully pay off, in turn making the black sharecroppers slaves to the white landowners. In “Battle Royal,” chances are that many of the fighters themselves were victims of this sort of debt, participating in the fight as a chance to pay off what they owed.

The second prominent form of workplace discrimination towards blacks was the convict leasing system. The convict leasing system was created to evade the 13th amendment, which states “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction” (“House Joint Resolution”). To get around this, whites created the convict leasing system, in which state governments would lease black convicts to work at firms doing penal labor. David Oshinsky, an American historian, said that convict leasing “ensured a generation of black prisoners would suffer and die under conditions far worse than anything they had ever experienced as slaves” (Graff). These workplace constrictions kept African Americans in constant poverty. Again, chances are good that many of the blacks who elected to participate in the battle royal did it out of mere necessity. The battle royal served as a chance for the fighters to help feed their families and temporarily escape the perils of poverty.

Although racist whites successfully constructed a negative financial situation for blacks, they went even further to try and promote conflict within the African American community itself. Creating the battle royal was a way to turn blacks against one another in a time period where black unity was vital. The white cloth used to blindfold the fighters symbolizes the white citizens’ attempts to distract African Americans from the greater evils taking place. The narrator describes his blindfolding experience as all ten of the fighters climbing under the ropes of the ring and “allowing themselves to be blindfolded with broad bands of white cloth” (Ellison). While the narrator was being forced to fight in order to give his speech, the other fighters were fighting by their own free will. The fact that the fighters allowed the whites to blindfold them further supports the idea that the blacks were fighting out of necessity. After the blindfolding removes the narrator’s sense of sight, his sense of hearing intensifies, sharpening the phrases yelled from audience members. Right before the battle royal begins, the narrator hears a surge of racist phrases such as “Get going in there, I want to tear that ginger-colored nigger limb from limb,” and “Let me at that big nigger!” (Ellison). With terror setting in and his sense of sight gone, the narrator can no longer see who is yelling the remarks, leaving his mind free to ponder if the remarks are coming from fellow blacks. By blindfolding the blacks and forcing them to turn on each other, the white men hoped to distract the blacks from the bigger issue of continued racism. White men could retain their hierarchical power as long as African Americans were kept divided and distracted from fighting for their societal equality.

Race-fueled torment toward the fighters post-fight further exemplifies the racism prominent in society even after the abolition of slavery. After the battle royal, the M.C. introduced the fighters to a rug strewn with gold pieces, dollar bills, and various coins. They were informed that all they could grab was theirs, and so the white men’s entertainment continued. The fighters soon discovered that the rug was electrified, and as they fought the shocks to collect the money, belittling prompts filled the room. The white men shouted phrases such as “Pick it up, goddammit, pick it up!” and “Get the money, that’s good hard American cash!” knowing the pain involved in gathering the money (Ellison). Some white men even resorted to pushing the fighters onto the rug just to watch their bodies contort in pain. It was not enough for the black fighters to inflict their own pain while scrambling to collect the money, the white males needed the added satisfaction of personally inflicting pain to this group of people the men saw as biologically inferior. This behavior is strikingly similar to that of white plantation owners, who would whip their slaves to establish their control and superiority over the African American race. Chances are many of the white males in the battle royal audience were previously large plantation owners themselves, and saw the fight as a legal way to continue practicing the racism they harbored.

Racism was abundant in post-slavery America. In the years following the abolition of slavery, former slaves and their descendants faced widespread discrimination in both society and the workplace. The discriminatory laws enacted allowed prejudice against blacks to linger in American society years after the legal end of slavery, while the poor selection of jobs blacks were allowed further dragged African Americans into a recurring cycle of discrimination, debt, and poverty. In “Battle Royal,” Ralph Ellison exemplifies the measures many blacks were forced to resort to out of financial necessity. Due to racism left over from the slavery era, no matter what African Americans attempted in order to coexist as equals in white society, nothing could accomplish that goal. This was because in early post-slavery America, white people were at the top of the social hierarchy whereas blacks were at the bottom. Today, racist sentiments have greatly diminished due to the fact that many years have passed since the initial abolition of slavery, and mixed-race marriages have created a racially-diverse population. However, shadows of racism prevail in the black community, even in 21st century America. According to a 2006 study, seventy-five percent of African Americans believe they have fewer opportunities than whites, while almost sixty percent of whites think blacks have the same opportunities that they have (Graff 188-89). This indicates that although the white population may see black prejudice as a thing of the past, African Americans are still struggling with certain forms of racism today. Racism, although greatly diminished in 21st century America, still has a long way to go before society can claim black prejudice as a thing of the past.

Read more

A Look at Symbolism in Ralph Ellison’s Short Story Battle Royal

May 6, 2021 by Essay Writer

Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison is about the passing of the narrator’s grandfather who leaves a piece of advice for the remaining members of the family. The son, then, goes through a battle where he struggles to find the true meaning of the advice given to him. The symbols in “Battle Royal” are the battle, the blind fold, and the speech. These symbols, taken all together, highlight the fact that black men felt invisible.

The narrator, who thought he was simply going to read his speech, was forced into a planned battle. The battle had white drunken men surrounding it. The battle symbolized control the whites had over the blacks. The boys who were forced into the battle felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave but couldn’t if they tried. “But as we tried to leave we were stopped and ordered to get into the ring. There was nothing to do but what we were told” (Ellison 406). This proves that the battle was in place to control the boys and how they chose to move. The battle is also a representation of how white people are superior/in control, by giving the narrator a scholarship to an all-black college, as this will be further explained later.

In the beginning of the battle, the boys were blind folded. The blind folds were in place to make the boys feel weak, and to prevent them from seeing who their opponents were and what moves they made. “Blindfolded, I could no longer control my motions. I had no dignity. I stumbled about like a baby or a drunken man” (Ellison 407). Being blindfolded means you can’t see what’s going on around you. In other words, you can’t defend yourself properly and your opponent has a greater advantage of winning. Being blindfolded will make one feel weak or having less of the advantage of one who doesn’t have on a blindfold.

Throughout the battle, the narrator keeps thinking about his speech, “And yet, I had begun to worry about my speech again. How would it go? Would they recognize my ability? What would they give me?”(Ellison 407). The narrator wonder what he will receive, such as a gift or a recognition of some kind. After the battle was over, he finally read his speech, “I spoke even louder in spite of the pain. But still they talked and still they laughed, as though deaf with cotton in dirty ears. So I spoke with greater emotional emphasis. I closed my ears and swallowed blood until I was nauseated. The speech seemed a hundred times as long as before, but I could not leave out a single word. All had to be said, each memorized nuance considered, rendered” (Ellison 411). The narrator is so determined and eager, he reads his speech despite the fight he had to go through. He holds back showing the physical pain he felt to avoiding showing additional weakness. So, the speech symbolizes how smart he is and how he want everyone to acknowledge the problems during that time period.

After giving his speech, he did indeed receive recognition and a gift. “Gentlemen, you see that I did not overpraise this boy. He makes a good speech and some day he’ll lead his people in the proper paths, and I don’t have to tell you that that is important in these days and times. This is a good, smart boy and so to encourage him in the right direction, in the name of the Board of Education I wish to present him a prize in the form of this…”(Ellison 412). The response to his speech was demeaning. The presenter made it seem like the narrator is moving up to their level (the level where the whites were) but in reality he was keeping him where he is, in a sense keeping him running. The prize was a scholarship to a Negro college where, we can assume the teachers or professors only teaches what they want the African American students to know. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll gain the tools needed to reach the same level of the white men. Black men feeling invisible in this specific time comes from the fact that they were only allowed to attend schools with other African American students and taught by African American teachers who only teach what they were instructed to. This structure held African Americans back, not allowing them to be equal to the white students, meaning that whatever they wanted to contribute didn’t matter.

These three symbols; the battle, being blindfolded and the speech, all lead to black men to feel invisible. Black men put so much effort into something they’re proud of, go out of their way to present it, only to be brushed off in the form of a slight recognition. The narrator’s grandfather left a significant piece of advice in the beginning; “learn it to the younguns” (Ellison 403). He also called himself a traitor and a spy. Then near the end, in the narrator’s dream, he reads a letter from his grandfather that reads “Keep This Nigger-Boy Running” (Ellison 413). When the grandfather said “Keep This Nigger-Boy Running” it was a sign that he was mocking the prize the narrator received. The grandfather is a representation of someone who is of the same race and will down his own people.

In conclusion, controlling a person, making a person feel weak and giving false recognition contributes to making one feel invisible. One race isn’t a sign of being higher than another. Once you realize that you aren’t free because of what you’re allowing others to teach you instead of teaching yourself what you need to know, will be the day you become equal to yourself and those who are now doing the same as you. “I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself”(Ellison 402).

Read more
Order Creative Sample Now
Choose type of discipline
Choose academic level
  • High school
  • College
  • University
  • Masters
  • PhD

Page count
1 pages
$ 10