Free Study Guide for The Contender by Robert Lipsyte Free BookNotes|
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THE CONTENDER - FREE ONLINE NOTES / PLOT NOTES
In this chapter, Alfred’s future is foreshadowed. Spoon gives
him the necessary forms for night school and suggests courses of study to him.
He also recommends a rehabilitation center for James. Because Alfred has gained
self-confidence, he now feels he can help his friend.
Alfred comes home to find Aunt Pearl
looking agitated. She informs Alfred that the police have visited the house to
inquire about James, for he has again broken into the house of the Epsteins. Since
James was not caught by the police at the scene of the crime, they are searching
for him. As soon as Alfred hears this information, he goes in search of James.
Entering the cave in the park, he finds James hiding in a corner. James asks him
to go away, but Alfred stays and asks his friend to turn over a new leaf. When
James asks him to give him money, Alfred refuses, for he believes he will spend
it on drugs; but Alfred promises to help James if he will allow. After he tells
James about the rehabilitation center, James finally consents to go.
In the previous chapter, Robert Lipsyte has presented Alfred as a contender. In this final chapter, he shows that his protagonist is also a healer and reformer. Alfred has worried about James throughout the novel. Now, when he hears that his friend has committed another crime, Alfred is determined to help him change his life. When he goes out to look for James, he finds him hiding in the cave in the park, where Alfred had looked for him after his first attempt to rob the Epsteins. When James begs him for money, Alfred refuses, not wanting to feed his friend’s bad habits. Instead, he tells James about the rehabilitation center, emphasizing how it can help him get back on the right course. When James agrees to enter the center, Alfred promises to help his friend along the way. The reader feels certain that he will show an equal amount of determination in helping to heal his friend as he showed in pursuing his training to become a boxer. As a result, the novel ends on a hopeful note.
The book has come full
cycle. In the first chapter, Alfred went looking for James to ask him to go to
the movies. In this final chapter, he is looking for James to ask him to go to
the rehabilitation center. In the interim chapters, Alfred sees very little of
his friend; but he constantly worries about James, for he knows that he is running
with Major (the devil in disguise), taking drugs, and participating in crimes.
As James falls deeper and deeper in trouble during the book, Alfred is climbing
higher and higher on his ladder to a successful future. Because he is now confident
and filled with hope for himself, he is in a position to help James turn his life
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. 09 May 2017