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ELEMENTS OF LITERATURE

Page history last edited by Christian Willman 11 years, 1 month ago

Imagery

 

"The fixed, familiar looks of the players, Winchell furtive and nervous; Billingsley tapping his legs up and down, those beautiful eyes alive and electric and darting; McDougal biting down on his lip, wanting to get it on so badly, bring those Carter Cowboy motherf****** on; Christian trying to remain calm as his stomach boiled and churned, seething like a cauldron; Chavez stony and silently receding into his special, momentary world of violence." Page 306.

 

This is an example of imagery found in the book. The author is describing each character in the locker room as they await the final minutes before the semi-final game. He is very detailed, and you get a picture in your head of what each player was going through before they stepped on the field to start the most important game of their lives.

 

 

Setting

 

"In the beginning, on a dog-day Monday in the middle of August when the West Texas heat congealed in the sky, it was the first official day of practice... It was a little after 6 in the morning when the coaches started trickling into the Permian High School field house. The streets of Odessa were empty, with no signs of life except the perpeutual glare of the convenience store lights on one corner after another." Page 1.

 

This is an example of one of the main settings within the book. He tells the reader of the location, Texas, and most of where it takes place, Permian High School. He also gives the reader a little insight into the town where the school is located, Permian, and what it's like during football season.

 

 

Point of View

 

"Asked what the purpose of school was at Permian, Don had a simple answer. 'Socializing,' he said candidly. 'That's al senior year is good for.' That, and playing football. If there was any angst about school, it was over the number of girls who desired to spend at least some part of their lives with him. They were everywhere. Girls in short leather skirts. Girls in expensive designer jeans. The perplexity of it all gnawed at him a great deal more than the meaning of Macbeth. As Don put it, 'There's so much skin around, it's hard to pick just one." Page 126.

 

This is an example of the point of view within the book. It's in third person with the narrator essentially telling the story of these players, and townspeoples' current lives at Permian, and Odessa. He does not really have an effect on the way they live and it's a pretty non-biased view into the machine that is high school football.

 

 

Tone and Mood 

 

"He (Jerod McDougal) lingered by his locker and started to sob again. 'Thats why it hurts so much, to lose to someone you know didn't work as hard as you,' he said as he closed his eyes and tried to fight back the tears." Page 326.

 

This is an example of the main overall tone and mood of the book. There are little parts involving hope and triumph, but the book mostly paints a sad and negative picture of these peoples' lives. The thought of football being over, the loss of Boobie, the obsession with football. There are no fairy tales here, and the book depicts how hard the real world can be for some of these players.  

 

 

Irony

 

"Ranked number one in his class at Permian, he moved effortlessly between the world of the football and the academic elite.  On the field he was a demon, with a streak of nastiness that every coach loved to see in a football player. Off the field he was quiet, serene, and smart as a whip, his passitivity neatly hiding an astounding determination to succeed. 'He is 2 different people,' Winchell said of him. 'He's got a split personality when he puts on that helmet." Page 128

 

This is an example of irony within the book. It's very ironic that one of the biggest, nastiest, meanest players, also happens to be the smartest, and brightest student in the school. He was cocky at times, and fit the role of a dumb jock, but ended up as the class valedictorian and went on to college at Harvard.

 

                                

          (Brian in High School)                      (On left: Boobie Miles; On right: Brian Chavez)

 

Foreshadowing

 

"Boobie played sparingly the following week in a 48-2 win over Dallas Jesuit that upped Permian's record to six and one. He ran the ball five times for fourteen yards and seemed even more tentative than he had against Abilene High. He broke to the right on one carry but had no acceleration at all and was easily tackled for no gain. He rumbled for five yards on another play but went down before being hit." Page 187

 

This is an example of foreshadowing in the book. Boobie's shaky performance after coming back from an ACL injury all but signifies the end to his reign as the high school football king at Permian. In the following games he finds out the coaches don't want him playing on the injury and his chance of a scholarship, or every playing again is pretty much gone.

 

 

Theme

 

"As someone later described it, those lights become an addiction if you live in a place like Odessa, the Friday night fix." Prologue, Page xvi.

 

This is an example of one of many themes through out the book.  The theme is clearly the town's obsession with high school football, and not being able to look beyond the sport itself. The status of the team regularly determines the moods, thoughts, and feelings of the town, and it is almost sad to see their lives run by this.

 

 

Suspense

 

"Duncan hiked the ball and went into his pass block stance. He didn't look up, because the sound of the crowd would tell him whether the pass was complete or not. Winchell threw the ball. Duncan waited and listened. And he was exactly right, the sound of the crowd did tell him who had won and who had lost, a sudden, joyful eruption that came from one of the sides like a blast of bullets to hail a surrender. As Clinton Duncan later related it, he could also tell from something else. 'I saw a bunch of cocky niggers jumping up and down.' " Page 324.

 

This is an example of suspense within the book. The Panthers were down by 5 and had one play left to throw a hail mary downfield and hope that it would not be the last play of the season, let alone the last play of some their lives. The quote he makes at the end signifies that Dallas Carter won the game and the panthers magical season has come to an end. 

 

 

 

- Christian Willman

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