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At first sight, the two novels, "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner and "Battle Royal" by Ralph Ellison, do not seem to have a close relation. However, there are several opportunities to find thematic parallels between the two novels.
One reason the concepts of the two stories differ is that they each provide characters with a well-developed emotional focus on reaching a culturally derived goal. Both characters achieve those goals by means that are, to some degree, private and distinct from the ideals and society of their respective niches.
Emily engages in a romantic practice, something which should be entirely normal for a lady of her age. However, she does it in secret and with someone who is who does not fall in her class. While the issue of class may certainly be a taboo, the extreme privacy that surrounds her affair contradicts the customs and values of the South in that era. Additionally, Emily engages in a love affair with a dead person and portrays a sarcastic psychological break by having a dead lover, and even a dead romance. The normality of Emily’s desire for love affair becomes questionable due to her actions, which include pathology, secrecy, as well as going against the Southern etiquette by getting into a love affair with a lower-class man.
Similarly, 'Battle Royal" portrays a character in search of self-improvement by way of education. The text does not challenge the protagonist's pursuit of education, but the methods he uses to pursue success in the given scenario is full of both sarcasm and self-defeat. For the Black protagonist to become successful through education, he has to face other Back boys in a fight and suffer several humiliations. Besides, he has to perform a speech after being humiliated and praise the virtues of self-reliance and humility for the Blacks seeking a better state of affairs in the American society.
Additionally, both Emily and "Battle Royal" (the protagonist) get isolated from their communities despite pursuing goals that are genetically accepted by both their cultures and neighborhoods. The methods used by the two characters tend to create a relief that gives a clarification of their pursuits (romance and self-improvement through education), as well as the significance of creating awareness of the broader field of cultural perspectives.
"Battle Royal" at one point receives a briefcase and makes the assumption that the briefcase symbolizes his achievements. The same scenario is portrayed by Emily when she symbolizes romance with having an affair with a dead man. In overall, the two stories portray a broad range of comparable themes despite discussing different topics.
Ellison, Ralph. "Battle Royal."
Faulkner, William. "A Rose For Emily". (1930):
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