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The Contender

  • Study Guide
Characters

Mr. Epstein

Characters Mr. Epstein

Mr. Epstein is one of the only significant Caucasian characters in the book. Major and Hollis claim that Epstein's different ethnicity is justification for trying to break into the Epstein's store. Mr. Epstein is very fair to Alfred, even though it would be understandable if he did not want much to do with Alfred after the robbery attempts. He knows that James is Alfred's best friend and knows it is no coincidence that James tried to rob the place where Alfred works. He does not think Alfred has had anything to do with the plan, but he is not totally convinced until Alfred earns his trust back. Mr. Epstein, much like Mr. Donatelli, gives Alfred a chance to prove that Alfred is worth the risk. Largely because of boxing, Alfred's determination become apparent to Mr. Epstein, and he and Alfred get to know each other on a level of deeper understanding than they had before. To them, understanding of what it means to box transcends the issues of color and distrust.