Fading to Black - Kyrk Roberts Freshman Communicative...

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Kyrk Roberts Freshman Communicative Skills II Section 27 3/7/08 Fading to Black: Theme and Self-Esteem in Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” In Ralph Ellison’s, Battle Royale , the unnamed protagonist of the story undergoes a series of traumatic and degrading experiences that eventually become catalysts to his own enlightenment and spiritual awakening . As a young man entering adulthood the protagonist is aware of the racism present in his surroundings but is incognizant to the underlying effects it has on him and his race . Among these effects is the deterioration of the self-esteem of Black Americans; an effect of which the protagonist is also afflicted with . Through the harrowing experiences the protagonist endures throughout, Battle Royal, his outlook on life is transformed and his mentality is rectified . Ellison uses the protagonist as a means to illustrate his perspective on American society and to combat the sentiments of inferiority by Black Americans during the time period in which the story was written . As a young man growing up in the south, the protagonist is accustomed to dealing with racism . But the degradation he is subjected to at the battle royal is unlike any experience he has ever faced .
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