Sherena Medford Class: 701
The Contender Essay
If you’ve ever been confused on whom you are or who you want to be, then you’re not alone. Don’t back down, keep going forward. This essay will be about a young man named Alfred who has the same difficulty. Alfred says many things he could be, but can he choose ONE. In this book” The Contender”, the biggest conflict that Alfred has to overcome is the one with himself, namely the inability to find himself.
One obstacle Alfred has to overcome is finding himself because he wants to know before his time is up. For example, when Alfred realizes that he is scared of what Major might do to him, he plans his revenge. He thinks it will help to find himself. When Alfred goes to the gym, he meets Mr. Donatelli and says,” I want to be somebody.”(35) This shows that he is knows he wants to be something but isn’t really sure about it. Another example of Alfred mentioning that he wants to be somebody is when he is in the gym with Mr. Donatelli, and Mr. Donatelli asks him, who you want to be. Alfred says,” Somebody special. A champion.”(35) This shows that he is determined to find himself because he already has an idea in mind. These examples of who Alfred wants to be, helps him to know his future.
In addition, Alfred has another obstacle to face. He makes wrong decisions because he doesn’t know himself. For example, Major invites Alfred to a club to meet James. When Alfred gets there he decides to get drunk.” Someone began passing a cigarette around. And the way everyone dragged it along, he knew it was marijuana.”(118) This shows that he had no other choice but to take the marijuana, which he didn’t plan on doing. Another example, is when Alfred was drunk and was pressured into doing something that would get him even drunk.” Why not, Alfred thought… Major left the wine bottle with him.”(118) This shows that Alfred couldn’t control himself and didn’t care that he had training to become a boxer. These examples indicate that since Alfred doesn’t know himself, he tries new things which are beyond his expectations.
Imagine you are placed into the future. The year is 2100. You begin to live in this new world. You hear about huge storms over much of the USA that cause severe damage and flooding. San Francisco, New York City, New Orleans, Seattle, and Miami all experience major flooding from the ocean level having risen so high. Thousands and thousands of people perish each summer across the USA alonehundreds ...
The last obstacle Alfred faces is the decision between whether he should finish school or continue to become a boxer. For example, when Alfred went to visit his cousin and he realized that he could do better like his cousin. He tells his cousin” I’m gonna continue my education.”(194) This shows that Alfred has another plan to know who he is although; he is already in action with one of the plan (boxing).
Another example is when Alfred decides that he had enough with Major and being treated like a slave, he visits Mr. Donatelli and says,” I come to be a fighter.”(28) This indicates that Alfred thinks he knows what he wants to be and he would work for it. These examples show that Alfred can’t make up his mind on who he wants to be but just chooses things not wisely, but quickly.
The biggest conflict that Alfred has to overcome is the one with himself, namely the inability to find himself. Alfred can’t decide who he wants to be. For example, he says he wants to be somebody, and then he makes wrong decisions that are big for him because he doesn’t know himself, and he says he wants to finish school or become a boxer. Never give up when trying to find who you are, don’t give up. Alfred didn’t no matter how many things he wanted to try or to do.