The white men end up attacking the girl, who is described as having the same terror and fear in her eyes as the black boys. My saliva became like hot bitter glue. I never told you, but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all. Ellison, like his protagonist, considered himself an intellectual and cultured man. He wasn't being noble at all.
The author confronts controversial topics by using symbolic references, making the reader question society's preset beliefs. It is unusual to associate guilt with achievement, but when placed in a society where negative judgment is passed down quickly, the narrator has no other choice. In doing so, he establishes a pattern of simply doing what others expect of him, without examining his motives, establishing his own value system, or considering the consequences of his actions. I would get the gold and the bills. If you like bonfires, then you'll want gasoline -- and lots of it. Instead of writing a story with facts about discrimination and statistics on them, he chose to write this story in which he used imagery and satire to enable the reader to have an insight on the heinous experiences of these young men.
And I started off the floor, heading for the anteroom with the rest of the boys. A moment later I came to. As told, we got around the square rug on our knees. You can always rely on us, we are ready to help you! For in those days I was what they called ginger-colored, and he sounded as though he might crunch me between his teeth like a crisp ginger cookie. Clearly, the narrator's experience has taught him that this is not true for black Americans.
The stripper represents the amount of control the white men had over the blacks. Chairs went crashing, drinks were spilt, as they ran laughing and howling after her. The blacks would only be close to achieving the American Dream but never able to have the American Dream. I say this because the boy had to endure a boxing match, being shocked, and being called all kinds of nasty names, and he had to do it before he delivered his speech. Discrimination was not against the law as blacks were deemed free but must be segregated against the whites. Then falling forward, my head against his damp shoulder, I whispered. All of the town's big shots were there in their tuxedoes, wolfing down the buffet foods, drinking beer and whiskey and smoking black cigars.
I opened my eyes, puzzled. Within and , the term has a specific meaning, depending on the sports being discussed. The short story is effective because it really helps the reader to understand the struggle African American men were going through for equality and identity in society throughout history. The old man's words were like a curse. That night I dreamed I was at a circus with him and that he refused to laugh at the clowns no matter what they did. Even when the white people were mocking him he would see it as earning respect from them. This is where he will get his validation, the honor that will really matter to him.
The horror begins when the narrator listens to a conversation between his father and grandfather, as his grandfather lay on his death bed. Slavery might end with the signing of a piece of paper, but ending racism is something different entirely. What could have been his only alie is his biggest obstacle. When he gets in the ballroom there is a naked girl dancing. The narrator had been shocked not just physically but mentally.
In the beginning, the story seems to be about one black boy's struggle to get ahead in a white society. The boys having to fight in front of high society white men is one that tells of the real life struggle that was taking place not only then but for years to come. I wanted to deliver my speech and he came at me as though he meant to beat it out of me. He is the valedictorian at his school and being recognized for his incredible writing abilities and none of that matters in the eyes of the white men. The black boys who were to take part in the battle were humiliated, some passed out, others pleaded to. What a belief in the rightness of things! When he is done giving his speech the superintendent came up, while the audience gives a thunderous applause. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.
I felt myself bombarded with punches. A hot, violent force tore through my body, shaking me like a wet rat. These boys were given the opportunity to make money by simply taking it off of the rug, the only hitch being that the coins were electrified. This really gets to him; he does not know what to do. He is concerned that the fight and prior events in the even might work against his speech; moreover, he was beaten, bloody, exhausted, and having trouble speaking, because, of all the blood in his mouth. A blow to my head as I danced about sent my right eye popping like a jack-in-the-box and settled my dilemma. Not from a distaste for fighting but because I didn't care too much for the other fellows who were to take part.
It was a triumph for the whole community. The main character is asked to speak at a community gathering but is then asked to participate in the battle, which takes place before the speech. He is bleeding from the nose and mouth, and cannot tell if his body is covered in blood or sweat. The narrator had been living as a rebel and a traitor without even realizing it. I wanted to leave but I wanted also to speak and I was afraid they'd snatch me down.