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The Challenge Summary
Mario Vargas Llosa

Everything you need to understand or teach The Challenge by Mario Vargas Llosa.

  • The Challenge Summary & Study Guide

The Challenge Summary


In 1958 (at the age of twenty-two), Mario Vargas Llosa won first place for his short story "The Challenge" in a fiction contest sponsored in Peru by Revue française. His prize was a trip to Paris, a city he had longed to visit and to which he later returned to seriously pursue writing.

Among the themes common in Vargas Llosa's fiction is that of establishment of power by means of violence. Although "The Challenge" was written very early in his career, this idea is already forming. In the story, the Gimp demonstrates his strength, power, and believability by killing the man he challenged, Justo. That the Gimp wants his opponent to surrender rather than be killed has less to do with the theme of power than with the particular character of the Gimp. The sense of disillusionment often portrayed in Vargas Llosa's work is also present in "The...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Challenge Study Pack contains about 39 pages of study material in 4 products, including:

The Challenge Study Guide

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