What is the central conflict in Battle Royal?

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The major structural development in the story is that of black against white. The other is the outright contempt and mistreatment of the black boys by the white spectators. There is also a broader conflict between oppressor and oppressed, for the white dancer might be included as one of the exploited. When she is tossed in the air it is clear that she, too, is being dehumanized, just like the boys (paragraph  9). In addition, Ellison brings out the conflict of ordinary male adolescent intimidation, for the boys by no means present an organized and unified front. The larger boy, Tatlock, dramatizes his contempt for the narrator both with words and fists (paragraphs 27-37). We may conclude that Tatlock embodies the hostility and jealousy that the less intelligent often exhibit toward the more intelligent.

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