The story .”Battle Royal” by ralph ellison
ENG 102.7451/Draper-Reich Fall 11 2015
Assignment: Essay #1 (600 words)
Stories of Protest: “A Hunger Artist,” “Two Kinds,” and “Battle Royal”
Protest can take many forms. In Franz Kafl(a’s “A Hunger Artist,” a man stays true to his calling
no matter what. J ing-mei, in Amy Tan’s story “Two Kinds,” defies her mother, with melancholy
results. The story “Battle Royal” is itself a protest against the brutal effects of racism in the
19505 American South. In this essay, you will perform a critical analysis of E of these three
You have two options. You may choose one of the questions below as the topic for your essay,
OR you may develop your own question about the stog you want to write about.
1. Is the hunger artist a hero or a tragic figure? Why?
2. Does Jing-mei, the narrator of Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds,” emerge as a winner or a
loser from her struggle with her mother over playing the piano? How does the story
3. What does the narrator learn from his ordeal in “Battle Royal?” How do the
different parts of the nightmarish evening described in the story contribute to this
You; answer to the question you choose will become your thesis. You will then use specific
examples and quotations from the text to support your interpretation of the story. Yourjob is to
convince readers that your interpretation is valid. . .and to capture their interest in the topic as a
As you develop your thesis and argument, you might address some of the following:
How does the author use different narrative elements (characterization, setting, word
choice, plot etc.) to convey his or her ideas?
What revelations does the main character arrive at by the end of the story? What does she
or he realize about herself? What does she or he learn from other people? Are these
lessons positive or negative?
How does the story you’re analyzing reflect the time period it was written in?
What broader implications does the story have? What insights does it offer into personal
or societal relationships?
Your grade for this essay will be calculated out of 100 points (see below) and is worth 15% of
your final grade in the course.
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