What is the central conflict in "Battle Royal"?

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The central conflict in "Battle Royal" is of the character versus society variety: the narrator conflicts with the white society that demeans and oppresses him. First, he is invited to give his speech, which champions black "humility" as the pathway to progress, to a group of local white businessmen. It is, presumably, this speech that makes him a target of his black peers. Then, he is compelled, among a group of young black men, to look at a blond white woman who is "stark naked." Some of the powerful white men "threatened us if we looked and others if we did not," he says. One boy pleads to go home, and another faints. Another gets an erection that he tries to hide, and the narrator is aroused as well, but terribly fearful at the same time. "Some were [...] crying and in hysteria," even after they are led away from the naked woman.

Next, they are forced to box one another blindfolded for the enjoyment of the white men. The narrator feels as though he is in a "dark room filled with...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 830 words.)

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