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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Battle Royal," the first chapter of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the major symbol is the concept of "the fight."  Early in the story, the narrator tells the audience about his grandfather who told him that he must fight "the good fight" throughout his life to overcome the discrimination that will inevitably be a part of his life.  Later in the story, the narrator gets into an actual fight in the boxing match that spectators come to see.  The narrator's grandfather meant figuratively that he should fight by employing methods of resistance to get ahead in life.  However, the narrator's actual fight ironically causes him a set back because he becomes a mere object for entertainment during the boxing match.  So the fight symbolizes the struggle and the journey that the narrator will have to tackle in order to define his identity and make advances in his life.

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Battle Royal; or, The Invisible Man

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