battle royal

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  • Exposition: The family is visiting grandpa as he comes to his final moments.
  • I've been a traitor all my life...
  • Exposition: As grandpa speaks his final words the kids are taken out of the room and then he dies.
  • Learn it to the young-uns...
  • Get out!
  • Rising Action: The narrator is in a crowded elevator with the other black boys that he will be in the battle royal with. He was asked to attend this get together to deliver his graduation speech.
  • Grandpa begins discussing how he has lived his life as a traitor to the whites. He tells his son to kill the whites with kindness and to secretly undermine them. This is important as these words cause the family anxiety and haunt them forever.
  • Rising Action: The narrator and the black boys are forced to fight for the entertainment of the superior white people.
  • Grandpa's controversial words made everyone uneasy and that's why the kids were told to leave the room. The main character who was present in the room remembers his grandpfather's words vividly.
  • Climax: The narrator is finally able to give his speech and feels accomplished.
  • So now gentlemen, I want you to give him you attention.
  • The narrator doesn't want to participate in the battle royal because he feels it will take away from his speech and he believes he is better than the other black boys participating. He doesn't want to be put on the same level as the black boys who are fighting for money being he is more intelligent than they are.
  • Climax: The narrator trembles through his speech.
  • Social...equality...
  • The narrator is beaten for the entertainment of the white people just like the other blacks. This shows that no matter how intelligent a black man may be, he still is below white people and placed with the other blacks who fight like animals.
  • After enduring physical pain the narrator is still able to persevere and give his speech. Nobody present, however, listens to a word he says. Everyone continues to laugh and talk even though this black boy is actually very intelligent and was asked to give his speech here. The narrator doesn't realize the true purpose of him being asked to come yet. The whites are proving how superior they are to ALL blacks.
  • The narrator gets everyone's attention when he "accidentally" says social equality instead of social responsibility. The whites didn't pay any attention to his speech but as soon as they heard those words they became angry. This shows the hostility towards the idea that blacks could be equal to whites.
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