The Brave Essay, Research Paper
Javier G?mez Mata
October 23th 1997
English first period
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.