Oct 07, 10
Read from September 24 to 29, 2010
** spoiler alert **
Is Alton a National Champion, or a Helper of One?
In The cardturner, by Louis Sachar, Alton Richards is a teenage boy with a very rich blind great-uncle. All his life, his mom has wanted him to be nice and grateful towards this uncle. But now, she wants in on his will. Alton takes his uncle to a bridge tournament and is his cardturner, his eyes for the tournament. Then when Alton’s dad gets fired, he is stuck as the cardturner to get in the will. As the book goes on, and as it gets better, so does Alton’s interest in bridge. Then Alton’s uncle decides to enter the national bridge tournament. Will Uncle Trapp win with the help of his cardturner? One theme in The Cardturner is that when you don’t want to do something, but you stick with it, good things may happen. This is because unexpected events happen all the time, you might meet someone you like, and you may grow to like it.
Unexpected things happen all the time. You never know what is coming. For example, he is with his uncle one day and it is after the tournament is over. He is driving Uncle Trapp home from it and then his car broke down. After they called the car shop, his uncle decided that since Alton needed a good car to drive him, he would buy him a new car. His car broke down so he got a new one. His car breaking down was an unexpected event and what came from it was a new car. Another thing is when Trapp played a few rounds with Toni Castaneda, which I will say more about later. This was an unexpected event since he thought Trapp was playing with Gloria like usual. This lead to a good relationship. Another example is how Trapp did not leave them any money, but instead, paid all their bills including their mortgage, and their car payments. He then left the rest of the money to charity, when they thought that someone else like Toni’s family would get the money. These unexpected events make the book great.
People come and go so if you stick with an activity, you’re bound to meet someone new that you like. Take Trapp again. He turned from an old unlikable curmudgeon, to a brother like figure. “I didn’t cry. I just felt numb.” (p. 211) Before they did bridge together, Alton would not have minded if his uncle died because he didn’t know Trapp very well. He would have went to the funeral not caring much but not with any feelings. But because he is sad and numb, it shows that Alton really cares about his uncle and is very sad about his death. When you are numb, you must be very stunned about the news and he couldn’t handle it, which is why later he broke down in tears. Another person is Trapp’s bridge partner Gloria. She ended up as an almost cousin relationship with Alton. I mean this because they are not super close but they grew used to seeing each other every week and they had a good time together. Sometimes they would talk about Trapp or just life in general, which is what I do with my cousins. It’s very easy to stick to your same schedule and keep the same friends, but getting new friends are important too. If you try new things, then you will meet new people and your friendship circle will broaden.
Finally, you make grow to like that activity. It’s like the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover”. First impressions aren’t always the correct ones. When people think about bridge, they, like Alton, think of older men sitting at a table being totally serious and being no nonsense men. But as Alton got used to playing alongside his uncle, he realized that bridge takes a lot of skill and brainpower and it is extremely addicting and fun. Then once he started playing it for himself, he realized that it had been cool and fun to beat the older men and woman and it was one of his favorite things to do. My final example is when he met Toni for the first time when they were six. “Toni was about six years old. She ran up to me. She covered her ears with her hands, her elbows sticking out, and shouted, ‘Shut up! Leave me alone!’ and then she ran away.” (p. 6) After this incident, Alton thought Toni was crazy and weird but as the story went on and he saw her one-day and she was beautiful, he tried talking to her and found that she was a normal and cool person. They became great friends. After he thought she was crazy for 10 years, he finds out that she’s perfectly normal and nice. This shows that things can be different then you would expect from your first meeting.
One theme in The Cardturner is that when you don’t want to do something, but you stick with it, good things may happen. This is because unexpected events happen all the time, you might meet someone you like, and you may grow to like it. When I was in fourth grade I was debating on whether to keep playing travel soccer or not because I thought that practices were hard. I decided to stick to it and see what happened. Soccer is now a huge part of my life and some of my best friends were made from playing it. That is how I met my soon to be haven classmates, and now, my soon to be ETHS classmates. Also, some great stories have come from soccer games, which I am glad to have. In this book, I learned a few things. First, I learned how to play bridge, since throughout the book; there are little info sections. Second, I learned to look beyond the first impressions that people make and to stick with things that I don’t particularly enjoy at the moment.