The Brave


The Brave Essay, Research Paper

The Brave


Robert Lipsyte

Javier G?mez Mata

October 23th 1997

English first period

The Brave

Sonny Bear is a bored indian living in a reservation, having his Uncle Jake living in

the past. He leaves to New York to find his mother in Soho. He is attracted by Doll and

Stick to deliver dope for a coverup of a major shipment. Sargeant Brooks finds his boxing

talents in his arrest, then Brooks helps him out of jail to train him for the Amateur

Championship. During his way to the top, Brooks was shot by Stick, who also told the

Amateur Boxing that Sonny Bear had recieved money for fights, becoming a pro. Sonny

goes for Stick in The Deuce and takes him to the authorities. Finally, he climbs his way

through boxing as a pro.

?I don?t know what makes me crazier, a piece of garbage like Stick or a kid like

you who could be somebody if he tried. You ever stay with anything long enough to find

out if you could do it.? What Brooks is saying here is a universal truth. How are you

going to know what you are good at, if you don?t try it. Not to waste your life on vain

actions, but to find the unique gift God gave you and then develop it. Altough the main

character is Sonny Bear, Sargeant Alfred Brooks makes him see the light of this truth and

helps him find his way, or as Jake called it, to be a Running Brave.

The internal conflict of the never ending struggle between good and bad is

depicting in an internal conflict. Do I make the right decision that is going to help my life

mentally, morally and phyisically or do I just go along life like a mule. ?Mules?, said

Brooks.?The street word for delivery boys like you. Mule is a cross between a horse and a

jackass. No brains, no future. Good for nothing but to carry? What the author is saying

between words, is that if you fail to make the right choice at first you have to first of all

realise you have made a mistake and then never make the same mistake again because it

may cost you very much for the rest of your life.

Having problems with your identity can be very desmoralising. It is a basic of life.

If you don?t remember where you came from you surely don?t know where you are

headed. At first, when Sonny Brave was just a half white, half indian, he was very pig

headed and confused of what was going to happen to him, of where he was headed. No

goals, no dreams, nothing to live for, he just felt like part of a minority group which

instead of giving him pride, gave him sorrow. When he finally triunfed after all that

working in Donatelli?s Gym, he realised the importance of his roots, both of them and

found an inner harmony that made him a Running Brave and a white warrior.

Robert Lipsyte?s style is really quite simple. He gets as much background

information as he can get and then puts his research on paper to create fantastic novels.

From another book review that I did, I noted this incredible writing ability to describe

everything from the character?s point of view. The book The Contender is about Alfred

Brooks, an AfroAmerican that would like to really find out what he is good for so he goes

to Donatelli?s Gym to stay out of drugs. In The Brave he is now a Sargeant fighting

against drugs. There are many similarities in the two books, one of them is that both main

characters are from minority groups that are trying to make it in the white world, staying

away from drugs and finding a refugee in boxing.

As I have discussed earlier, the theme of this novel is not only to know the right

way, but to follow it. The way Mr. Lipsyte puts it, is that no matter if you failed to follow

the path you know it is right; without taking in recognition your race, color, or religion,

you can retake command of the ship and take it where it is most appropriate so that you

may reach your goal. The one goal we must achieve is taking into consideration that all

men and women are different, with different talents and different goals, which can all be

destroyed by taking our lifes through the pathway of drugs.

The Brave has left me thinking about my own future, asking myself questions that

are not written in the book but the reader has to find them. Questions like, where is this

taking me to? How am I taking advantage of my own talent? What can I do to remind me

of the straight path away from drugs and alcohol? All this complex questions have

complex answers that have to be thought of critically and not be taken lightly because I

know if I take them lightly I might not end up confronting he who I fear the most, myself.

The Brave, Robert Lipsyte, The Trumpet Club, New York, 1993. 195 pgs.

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