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Essay/Term paper: Ellison's "battle royal"

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Social Issues

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Ellison's "Battle Royal"

In Battle Royal, Ellison shows us various things to bring our attention
to the pain the minority group suffered. In doing this Ellison shows us
relationships between the torment they felt to our feelings for them. When the
boys enter the boxing ring, they are shown off like animals. The woman dancing
represents the sick pleasure derived from the boys' torture. Ellison shows us a
picture of the human mind, in seeing something to lust after then watching young
men being beaten nearly to death as a form of entertainment. He does this to
show us a view of human nature.
In oppression to the torment the boys developed a sort of counter attack.
The boys were so eager for the the fake money that they suffered electric
shocks to grab it. I think this sort of surprised the audience, beings that the
boys never gave up the fight. It was as thought giving up would have meant
giving up much more than money or a boxing match. It would have been a loss of
dignity and pride, none of them wanted to lose that. Also, by the time the boys
were given the chance to chase the money, they were numb from pain. I don't
think the new torture methods were really affecting the boys. Their bodies
became somewhat immune to the blows after awhile.
My battle royal was a little bit different from the boys in the story.
I did not really suffer from outside torment. The battle I faced was mostly
inside myself. People didn't have to say anything and I would be judging myself
and putting myself down. Like the boys in the boxing ring fighting one another,
I would have to fight with my own feelings to overcome things. Each time I made
a decision I had to be critical about what was good and bad for myself. Even if
I didn't do anything wrong I blamed myself for things that would go wrong.
My battle with low self esteem was an ongoing problem. It pretty much
got to the point where I didn't even realize I was doing it to myself anymore.
The words I said, although not all true, I believed completely. I had put
myself down so much, that complements were never taken seriously. I tried to
break my habit of putting myself down by setting goals for myself. This helped
a little but I honestly don't think I wanted help back then.
Finally it got to the point where I knew I had to do something. This
was the time when I felt most powerless. I didn't think I had any control over
how I felt. Half the time I couldn't decipher whether I was happy or sad. I
began to scare myself because of it. I would think, does this make me happy. I
couldn't even think of an answer, it was the strangest feeling I have ever had.
Not knowing if you are happy or sad, seems odd I know.
One day I came to the realization that either I had to fight what was
going on inside me or it was going to get me. I started out by setting goals
for myself. Fairly small things, but very important goals to me. I feel it is
best to set attainable goals for yourself, but also challenge yourself to do
better. Once I began to think about how good life was, and all it has to offer,
things started to change. I know that this is just a start and the main problem
lies ahead.
Today, I am a lot better than I used to be. I have goals for myself and
there are many things I want to do and have a right to do before I leave this
Earth. I guess to a point I became immune to the feelings I would let run
through my mind. I became immune to all the pain those feelings caused.. This
time around I am trying to face the feelings instead of ignore them. This is
helpful in that I know the problem right when it arises, and I can deal with it
before something else happens. If I ever get into a situation now where I feel
powerless, I either leave the situation or turn to a friend for help.
As in the story, I am also rewarded if I don't give up. I am able to enjoy
life and be happy, instead of walk around depressed a lot of the time. The
first time I realized I had to do something was my speech. That was my turn to
tell myself that I had to get over the low self esteem and overcome it. My
prize for this was happiness, I really had nothing to lose. This was my honest
attempt at winning the battle with my feelings. Each day I know I am getting
better. Now, if I get the feeling I push them out of my mind. Don't have time
to deal with sad feelings anymore.
The message I used to live by was to run and hide from my feelings.
This could possibly be the worst thing to do. It scared me to face them, so I
wouldn't. My whole life was an act, putting on a happy face when I really felt
down. Telling everyone I was fine, when in reality I was far from it. It
became much easier to tell people what they wanted to hear rather than face what
was going on inside me. Then came a day when I couldn't hide from others and
myself any longer. It just didn't work anymore, the feelings became stronger
and there was nothing I could do, but face them.
Everybody has to deal with something in their life. My battle was
dealing with the pain I brought onto myself. Although there was never any
physical abuse that went on, the emotional is hard to deal with as well. My
battle becomes easier with each day, and I can safely say now that I am better.
Makes me happy just thinking like this, knowing I got over it. It took me this
long to realize you don't need someone else to make you happy, we all possess
the same qualities in order to do that within ourselves.


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