A Ongoing Battle
Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” and August Wilson’s Fences are set during a time of transition in America from slavery to “freedom” for African-Americans. The works show the difficulties blacks experienced in America when they attempted to stand up against white’s to show their importance in society, while white’s wanted the blacks to stay in their place. In “Battle Royal” racism is directly impacting the narrator while he attempts to give his speech. In Fences racism is affecting the Maxson family do to all Troy went through while growing up. Troy tries protecting his family and friends from the same racism he went through while growing up, but all Troy really does is hold his family and friends back from a brighter future.
The “Battle Royal” is a chapter of a larger novel “Invisible man,” which is about a man in his 40’s reflecting on his life. He wanted to make a difference for his race, but ended up not completely fulfilling his dreams. The first person narrator believes he is an invisible man because the world around him does not recognize him as a equal man and he is yet to discover his identity. The man remembers the time leading up to his high school graduation when the superintendent of his school wanted him to give a speech to a group of important white men. When the young man arrives at the hotel he is faced with broken promises and betrayal, which is a “portion of the story that refers to numerous points in history in which African Americans have been promised the ‘American Dream,’ but the system was not designed for their success” (Murphy). The young man’s main purpose of being at the hotel is not to give a speech but to participate in the white man’s game of “Battle Royal.”
The story Fences main character is Troy Maxson a man in his 50’s who has many problems physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Troy is very negative about black athletes especially baseball players, do to the fact that he was a very good...