What is symbolic in "Battle Royal" and why?

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There are likely a couple of symbolic images that a reader could pull from this story. One of the most visceral images is the naked white woman that is made to dance seductively before the rich, white ruling men and the black boys. The naked woman is symbolic of the power that the rich, white men hold. The story shows readers that the white men have power over the black boys. They make the boys fight each other in a ridiculous, no-holds-barred boxing match, trying to grab coins off of an electrified carpet.

All of this shows that the boys are nothing more than entertainment pieces to be used by the white men; however, the naked woman is in exactly the same position. She may be of the white ruling class, but the fact that she is female works against her similarly to the boys' skin color working against them. She exists for nothing more than the sexual titillation of those men. They don't care about her as a person any more than they care about the boys as people. She is an object to be used and abused. As a naked object, she becomes an example of sexual objectification, and we see some of the men think it is entirely within their rights to grope at her as she nears. Her situation is just as dire as the boys' situation because the sole purpose of her existence is to entertain the men, and that is why she is a symbol of the power of white men in the room.

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