Why does the narrator continue to look forward to his speech even though he is being brutalized?
I would add that the speech is his means of expressing his humanity, something universal that racism and the violence of the boxing match cannot take away from him. It's what maintains his dignity, his sense of self-worth--that's why he readily offers Tadlock the prize money.
It's also worth pointing out that throughout the book the narrator looks to his speaking abilities to achieve some measure of contentment in life, but either no one is listening or they are abusing what he has to offer.
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The purpose of the narrator coming to this place was to deliver his speech. He shows both strength and weakness, but i would say mostly strength. The battle showed him , that in this day and time and even in the present time, you will have to fight it is a constant battle physically, mentally and emotionally. The others were ready to fight and after they received the "prize" left. The young man knew what his purpose was and that was to show them that black men and people are not for entertainment, we can speak with eloquence. I am glad that he did not let the battle defeat him, that he stood up for what he believed in despite the situation he was put in. Yes black men do look for the approval from the "white man" and they blame them for their short comings, but the battle showed me that the only person you are battling is yourself. don't be invisible , don't blend in with the masses take a stand, stand firm in what your purpose is because in the end you will be rewarded. It was a glimpse or a preview on what the real world will throw at you , insults, hatred, misunderstanding. The battle is never over. The physical battle will make you tougher. you will know how to handle each blow and move pass it.