How is the American Dream reflected in the story "Battle Royal" by Ralph Ellison?

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In "Battle Royal," the American Dream is presented as an almighty sham, something that only white people can ever attain. Initially, the unnamed narrator is naive; he thinks, that, he too has a shot at the success that the American Dream exemplifies. But over the course of events during the evening's "entertainment," he becomes totally disabused of his preconceptions. He comes to realize that the white man doesn't respect African Americans, even those like himself, who are educated and intelligent.

The ultimate unattainability of the American Dream for African-Americans is symbolized by the degrading "game" in which the narrator is forced to scramble for what he thinks are gold coins but which in actual fact turn out to be nothing more than worthless brass tokens. The none-too-subtle suggestion here is that the white man will never give those he deems to be his racial inferior a serious shot at the American Dream.

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