Summary and Main Characters of Robert Lipsyte’s The Contender Novel

Summary and Main Characters of Robert Lipsyte’s The Contender Novel

1. Theme

It was about a struggle of a black boy to become a real boxer, The Contender.

2. Main Characters

1) Alfred Brooks: He was seventeen years old. He lived with his aunt, Aunt Pearl. It was because his parent had died since he was a little kid. He was a black-boy who had strong will to become a real boxer, The Contender. He also loved James very much.

2) Aunt Pearl: She was Alfred’s aunt. She had become a mother for Alfred and loved him very much. She had two twin daughters and her husband had died. She was a sister of Alfred’s mother who had taken care of Alfred since his parent died.

3) Mr. Donatelli: He was an old men. He had crew-cut white hair and pale blue eyes. He was a manager of the fighters and also the manager of Alfred. He had trained Alfred to become a boxer, The Contender. He also had a gym for training the fighters.

4) James Mosely: He was Alfred’s best friend. He became a part of street gang. He was very easy to be influenced. He had also stolen money just to buy drugs.

5) Major: He was a leader of the street gang where Alfred and James belonged to. He always acted as if he tried to help Alfred and James, but he just made everything getting worst.

3 Summary of The Story

There was a boy who lived in Harlem, New York, with his aunt. He was Alfred Brooks, his parent had died. He did not go to school. He worked in the grocery shop. He had a best friend whose name was James Mosely. They had become best friend since they were children. But after they grew up, their friendship had got bad. It was because James joined a street gang, and he started consuming drugs. And Alfred did not like it.

One day, James and the street gang tried to steal money in the shop where Alfred worked in. At first, Alfred was asked to join them, but he did not want to do that. He thought that it was wrong and tried to stop James, but it did not work. James and the gang were stealing the money, but then the police coming and arrested James. Alfred knew it and felt very sorry because he can’t stop him. Alfred regretted about his best friend and wanted to become a fighter.

He went to somewhere in Harlem and found the gym to become a fighter, a boxer, the Donatelli’s Gym. He went there alone and felt very nervous. He found Mr. Donatelli and said that he wanted to become a boxer, a real boxer. He also said that he would try the best thing to become a real boxer, The Contender. He said he would do a hard work. Mr. Donatelli accepted Alfred to become a boxer.

The next day, Alfred always came to the gym and was always trained by Henry, the worker of the gym. Mr. Donatelli became the manager of Alfred. Then, after the training, Alfred had fights. At the first fight, he felt very nervous and could not concentrate, but he knew he must box. He won the first and the next fights.

At the end, Alfred fought against Hubbard. It was the last fight for Alfred, because at the fight Alfred was lost. He did not regret about it, because at the end of the fight he knew that he was not only a real boxer, he was the contender. He was a real contender. And the important thing was that he and James became best friend again.

4. Settings and air

1) Setting of time: Around the year of 1960.

2) Setting of place: Harlem and Manhattan (New York).

air: The principal emotion which pervades the story is hopeful and a struggle and also the friendship.

Copyright (c) Ahmad Alim Aziz

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