This is a paper that discusses the Voice in Stories by Welty and Ellison in “Where Is the Voice Coming From?” and “Battle Royal”. Additionally, the paper also discusses the narrators perspective of the stories.
Voice in Stories by Welty and Ellison in “Where Is the Voice Coming From?” and “Battle Royal”
Firstly, read the editor’s introductions to Eudora Welty’s “Where Is the Voice Coming From?” (1963) and Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” (1948; revised 1952). Additionally, Joyce Carol Oates explains that the narrator of Welty’s story is an imaginary white male who has targeted civil rights activist Medgar Evers for assassination, and she provides important details about the themes and publication history of “Battle Royal.” Both stories directly address race and racism.
Additionally, both stories are written in the first person. Their authors deftly use words to create a convincing sense of voice that reveals information about the narrator. Additionally, that imparts a sense of psychological realism. In literary studies, “voice” describes the distinguishing characteristics of language and expression that help create a sense of a narrator or character’s personality, background, and moral qualities. The phrase “authorial voice” refers to an author’s distinct writing style.
Using complete sentences, draft short responses to questions 1-4 below. Where possible, provide specific references to the stories to support or illustrate your points.
Questions for Analysis:
Firstly, what do we learn about the narrator of “Where Is the Voice Coming From?” How do we learn it—that is, what distinguishing characteristics of expression or language reveal information about the speaker? What, in your view, is revealed?
Secondly, focus on one or two key moments. What actions does the speaker of “Where Is the Voice Coming From?” take? Based upon this, what can we conclude about the story’s treatment of racism? Also, what kinds of things does the narrator of “Battle Royal” observe? Lastly, what features of the narrative voice reveal something about the speaker?
Lastly, focus on one or two notable instances or features. How does the narrator explain his desire to please or impress the “big shots” at “a gathering for the town’s leading white citizens” (443)? Based upon this, what can we conclude about the story’s treatment of racism?