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Free Study Guide for The Contender by Robert Lipsyte Free BookNotes

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THE CONTENDER BY ROBERT LIPSYTE STUDY GUIDE

STUDY QUESTIONS - BOOK REPORT / ESSAY TOPICS

1. Describe the Harlem of Alfred Brooks.

2. Contrast Alfred Brooks at the beginning of the novel to Alfred Brooks at the end of the novel.

3. Compare and contrast Alfred and James.

4. Why do the police apprehend James? Why does Alfred feel guilty about it?


5. What is Alfredís original reaction to Donatelliís gym? What is his original reaction to being in the boxing ring? What does this say about Alfred as a person?

6. Describe Aunt Pearl and compare/contrast her to Aunt Dorothy.

7. Describe Alfredís training and Donatelliís influence on it.

8. Alfred thinks about quitting the gym two different times in the book, for two very different reasons. Explain them both.

9. Why does Alfred worry about James throughout the novel? What does he finally do about it?

10. Contrast the influence that Henry and Spoon have on Alfred to the influence that Major has on him.

11. Why does Alfred decide he does not want to be a boxer? What does he want to do instead?

12. Is Alfred truly a contender? Support your answer with specific examples from the book.

13. Does the story end as a comedy or tragedy and why?

14. What is the major theme of the novel and how is it developed?

 

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