The Pugilist at Rest Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Pugilist at Rest.
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The Masculine Code

The story presents an ideal of manhood in terms of toughness and aggression. In the narrator's world, real men put their masculinity to the test in extreme conditions, whether on the battlefield or in the boxing ring. Courage, fearlessness, and endurance are the qualities to be cultivated. Men must show other men what they are made of. In the boxing match, for example, the narrator makes a decision to stay in the fight because his buddies are watching, and he cannot let them down. The fact that he does not get knocked out is as much due to will power as brute strength. He believes when men act with aggression, they are being true to their own nature, which explains why the narrator feels exhilarated during the fight, as he did on the battlefields of Vietnam. There is no fear in such situations. Even though he...

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This section contains 705 words
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Buy The Pugilist at Rest Study Guide
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