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What do you think Lipsyte is trying to say about race relations in the book?
Why does Lipsyte pick boxing as the subject of a text about a boy coming of age and learning about himself? Why not another sport? Why a sport at all?
In using Willie Streeter as an example, what is Lipsyte suggesting about the nature and limitations of fear?
What do you make of the fact that Alfred has a big extended family (with whom he lives) but no immediate family? Why is this fact important?
How does Aunt Pearl differ from her own parents in terms of allowing Alfred the freedom to make his own choices?
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Contender!