What could be the significance of the smoky atmosphere in the hall where the battle royal takes place in "Battle Royal"?

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Feel free to explore your own thoughts on this answer, as the narrator doesn't give a definitive explanation about the significance of the smoke. It should be somewhat clear to readers that the smoke is significant in this section because it is mentioned a dozen times. The smoke permeates the...

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Feel free to explore your own thoughts on this answer, as the narrator doesn't give a definitive explanation about the significance of the smoke. It should be somewhat clear to readers that the smoke is significant in this section because it is mentioned a dozen times. The smoke permeates the air and is a definite physical presence in the space. The smoke is caused by the rich white ruling class. They are smoking cigars in a way that clogs the entire atmosphere of the room.

For those men, the cigars and resulting smoke are a sign of wealth and fun; however, the smoke is choking and oppressive for the narrator and the other black boys. The smoke could be significant because it is another item that the white ruling class has in its arsenal to make the lives of the young black men more miserable. The white men have money, so they make black boys try to grab it on an electrified floor. The cigars and smoke are just another item that the white men have that cause the black boys pain.

The smoke had become thicker and with each new blow it seemed to sear and further restrict my lungs.

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