full title · The Contender
author · Robert Lipsyte
type of work · Novel
genre · Young adult, Fiction
language · English
time and place written · [Time] Las Vegas
date of first publication · 1967
publisher · HarperCollins
narrator · Anonymous
point of view · The point of view is third person limited, reflecting the point of view of Alfred Brooks.
tone · The tone in the book is serious, and it is sometimes dismal and graphic in description.
tense · Past tense
setting (time) · The book takes place in relatively modern times, perhaps within the decade of the 1970s.
setting (place) · New York City, primarily Harlem
protagonist · Alfred Brooks
major conflict · Alfred's struggle to commit to something as difficult as boxing; Alfred's attempt to salvage a sense of self worth
rising action · Alfred attending the clubhouse and lapsing in his training
climax · Alfred rejoining the gym and pursuing his training to his first fight
falling action · Alfred's last fight and retirement from the world of boxing
themes · What it means to be a contender; self-improvement; quitting; fitting in
motifs · Loyalty; the pursuit of dreams; winning
symbols · The hideout in Central Park; Alfred's boxing robe; the stairs to Donatelli's gym
foreshadowing · Donatelli's speech about being a contender; Donatelli's statement about not knowing whether or not a man has what it takes until he gets hurt; the flyers for the recreation center; Spoon's statement about Donatelli advising him to retire and go to school and their resulting close friendship