Ellison’s Fight: The Battle Royal Scholars and critics have spilled a considerable amount of ink talking Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man over the years. Written in 1952, Invisible Man has withstood the test of time to maintain a lofty position within the pantheon of great American fiction from the twentieth century. This is an even more impressive fact given that Invisible Man was Ellison’s first novel. Perhaps only Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks outshines this book as the greatest first novel by an author in recent history (McSweeney 1988, 12). Despite the power which resonates throughout the entire course of the book, there is one scene in particular which stands out as particularly powerful. Found in the first chapter, the “battle royal”...The end:
.....lities is one of the most important structure in the book. The battle royal was described by Ellison in a later interview as strictly figurative. It was, he says,”a ritual in preservation of caste lines, a keeping of taboo to appease the gods and ward off bad luck. It is also the initiation ritual to which all greenhorns are subjected” (McSweeney 1988, 40). However, as is the case with any comments made by an author concerning their own work, we must take his words too with a grain of salt. This is a short review of chapter one of Invisible Man and the battle royal scene. Bibliography Ellison, R. (1995). Invisible man. New York, Vintage International. McSweeney, K. (1988). Invisible man : race and identity. Boston, Twayne Publishers.