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The Cruelest Sport Analysis

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Jonathan Chuang

on 9 March 2017

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Transcript of The Cruelest Sport Analysis

They are similar, yet different
Both boxing and prostitution exploit the body for the sake of money
Boxing is encouraged and supported by many people
Prostitution is looked down on by most people and is illegal in most places
To exemplify the role of poverty and race (blacks) in the boxing industry
"Boxing is only possible...feeding boxing that are obscene" (para. 7).
To indicate the pure cruelness of the sport
"often murderous"
To praise Muhammad Ali's career
"'Ali revolutionized boxing the way black basketball players have changed basketball today."
Diction and Syntax
High diction overall
"Boxing is a stylized mimicry of a fight to the death, yet its mimesis is an uncertain convention..."
Mostly compound/complex sentences
"Like others sympathetic with boxers...protect boxers from exploitation" (para 26).
Periodic short, simple sentences
"He had become a hero. He had entered myth."
Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali was one of the most famous boxers ever
56 - 5; 37 KO record
Ali was an icon during the Civil Rights movement for refusing to be drafted for the Vietnam war
"The Greatest"
There is a moral distinction
Slaves did not have the choice not to fight
Boxers choose to fight for fame and money
Oates does not feel that there is much distinction between the two
About the Author
The Cruelest Sport Analysis
By Jonathan Chuang and James Ge
POV - 3rd Person Limited
Usually writes about violence/suspense hidden in life
Father was a boxing fan
Saw many of her father's old boxing magazines
Saw many boxing matches with her father
Most likely had to do outside research
The following is an example of...
"Is there a moral distinction between the spectacle of black slaves in the Old South being forced by their white owners to fight, for purposes of gambling, and the spectacle of contemporary blacks fighting for multimillion-dollar paydays, for TV coverage from Las Vegas and Atlantic City?"
The following is an example of...
"'skittering...like a pebble over water.'"
Let's Play a Game...
Name that Literary Device!
Rhetorical Question
There is no correct answer
The subject is very subjective and moral issues of boxing is "ambiguous"
The question introduces Oates' discussion on moral issues
Gives an image of how Ali fought
Punches were light and quick
The following is an example of...
"These hard-won victories began irreversible loss: progressive deterioration of Ali's kidneys, hands, reflexes, stamina."
The following is an example of...
"...like all great athletes, Ali has to be seen to be believed."
Joyce Carol Oates
Master's Degree in English
Youngest author to receive the National Book Award
Shows how the life of a boxer was similar to the lives of early man
Short life span, disease filled
"Remunerative" - financially rewarding
Other literary allusions - pg. 627, 628, 630
Help form her own opinions through reading others' work on wrestling
Boxing is harmful to the soul
Ends up in injuries, wounds, or death
Victory is when one of the boxers die
Confirmed in piece when she states "the ideal conclusion...adolescent masculine fantasy" (para. 4).
Discussion Questions
And if the body does not do full as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
Walt Whitman
A boxer's victory is gained in blood.
Greek inscription
Do you think boxing should be banned? Why or why not?

What part of boxing truly makes it the "cruelest sport"? The physical injuries? The corruption? The moral implications? Discuss.
Can be interpreted in many ways
The breaks between different topics can be seen as the breaks between rounds in a boxing match
Hitting different topics, even in each "round," is like a boxer aiming for different targets
The piece is organized almost as if it is a boxing match
Admiring and respectful of the sport
Solemnly aware of the sport's moral implications
Remains emotionally uninvolved
Expressing how amazing Ali was
You had to "see it to believe it."
The phrases "hard-won victories" and "irreversible loss" have been juxtaposed to point out that the cause of his downfall, ironically, was his victories
Full transcript