Aref Elbanna's Reviews > The Contender

The Contender by Robert Lipsyte
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M 50x66
's review
Apr 05, 2010

it was amazing
Read from April 05 to 16, 2010

The genre of the book is fiction. The book talks about a guy named Alfred Brooks who was struggling while growing up. He had poor education, financial struggles, and drug temptations. He wanted a better life, so his friend named Henry got Alfred involved in Boxing. Alfred started to train on daily basis because he wanted to be a contender. I chose this book to read because it can be a true story in real life, in which a person wants a change for the better. Also, it teaches a person how to overcome his or her struggles while growing up. The protagonist is Alfred Brooks. He worked hard to have a better life meanwhile facing struggles. The antagonist is Alfred’s best friend James. Alfred struggled to maintain James’s trust. The supporting characters are Henry and Aunt Pearl. Henry helped Alfred to start Boxing so he can take his mind away from his struggles and Aunt Pearl encouraged Alfred not to give up and she took care of him because his parents were dead.

The central conflict of the book is (man vs. himself). Alfred Brooks struggled to commit to Boxing because he always thought he could never change his past. He wanted to be contender, but he didn’t believe in himself that he can do it. The theme of the book is “What it means to be a contender.” Alfred’s Boxing Robe is a symbol because it shows him something that he never had before and his efforts that are noticed by others. Winning is the motif in the book. Winning shows Alfred’s success in the ring even though losing his final match before he retired.

The author’s writing style is serious and descriptive. He talks in the third person but it reflects on Alfred Brooks. He talks about the struggles Alfred faced while growing up and how did he reacted to them. Also, he shows the reader how to overcome things if you are willing to change for the better. I would recommend this book to others to read because it teaches other people not to give up on something you want to succeed in even though you had bad experience in life before. Also, it shows the reader that a person can learn from there past mistakes and become a better person.

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