This section contains 1,893 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Chapter 13-18 Summary
Both Sonny and his mother are surprised when they really look at each other. He had forgotten how beautiful she is, and she is amazed at how much harder he looks. She tells him that she has wonderful news. They have a great place to go to in Phoenix. She is going to sell her art there, calling it authentic Indian art. Jake asks her how long she is going to take the boy this time, and she responds that it is for good. He says he has heard that before.
Sonny tells his mother that he wants to stay with Jake and that he is training to be a fighter. His mother does not want him to do that. Jake knows that she has the right to take the boy away, and he takes Sonny inside and tells him it is time to go to Donatelli's gym. He hands Sonny some money and tells him to take the truck. Jake reminds him not to forget that he is one of the People.
Sonny arrives at the gym close to midnight. Brooks is there waiting for him. Jake had called him. Brooks tells Sonny how he had come up the same stairs 20 years before. He encourages Sonny to use the fire inside him for good instead of bad and tells him that he is going to work hard now. He will run every morning and train every afternoon. He will pay for his keep by working around the gym. Mr. Donatelli has a special system for training boxers, and Sonny will work hard to train. Sonny is supposed to remain in the gym at all times except when he is running. Brooks doesn't want him spotted by the X-Men. He tells Sonny that if he goes back to The Deuce, he can't come back. Sonny agrees.
Henry Johnson lectures Sonny on the importance of the training in the gymnasium. He tells the boy it is not a therapy group. Henry shows some of the basics of boxing practice, and he tells Sonny his partner, Martin Witherspoon, will be coming in later.
Martin is not enthusiastic. He is supposed to be calling out commands, but he does so without energy. It slows Sonny down. The days are long and hard. Sonny likes to think while he is running, and he wonders about Doll and how she is doing. He is happy for his mother, but he knows that she would never understand his lifestyle and his own choices. This is his chance to be somebody.
The real fighters come in to train in the late morning. One man named Dave Reynolds even brings his own disc jockey. Nobody pays any attention to Sonny. The young man watches the others as they train and tries to pick up some pointers. He observes the fact that they are very serious workers. After school, Martin comes to work with Sonny, and it is so depressing working with him that Sonny wouldn't even mind if the sessions were cut short. He wishes that Brooks would come by, and at times he is very tempted to go back to visit The Deuce to see how Doll is doing.
Jake shows up at the gym one day and starts offering advice to Sonny. Martin is very impressed with the man and his Indian ways. It inspires Martin to do a better job, and Sonny picks up on his training. Jake and Sonny goout for dinner, and Jake tells him that his mother has been calling. She doesn't like the fact that Sonny is in the city by himself. She wants him out there with her. She tells him that he has to make a choice. Jake also tells Sonny that Heather has called twice. Sonny tells him that she is somebody from high school.
After dinner, Jake tells Sonny that he should let Martin help him. He also says that at one point he had been worried about Sonny, but now he knows that the boy is going to be fine. Sonny realizes he doesn't want his great uncle to leave, and they hug for the first time since Jake was young. When he gets back to the gym, Brooks calls him. He tells Sonny that he will try to come visit him soon, but it is very busy at work right at that point. Brooks fills him in on some of the gym history, telling him that Martin's father used to be a fighter, but he got hurt.
As Sonny is falling asleep that night, he thinks about Heather's phone calls and wonders how she had gotten his phone number. He realizes that she must have his wallet. Sonny also realizes that there is a good chance that she has his sketchbook as well, and he doesn't want her looking at his pictures.
Training with Martin is very different after Jake's visit. Martin is inspired, and his father helps him work out combinations. Some of the fighters came over to watch. Sonny challenges the Postman to a fight, but the man says that he doesn't like amateurs. Sonny feels the monster stirring, and Johnson supports the idea of a fight. They get into the ring, and Sonny soundly defeats the Postman.
Sonny is having dinner at Martin's home with his family. Martin's mother is remembering 20 years before when they were eating with Brooks before a fight. That night is Sonny's first fight. Martin joins Sonny for a walk, and Martin tells Sonny that his sister is attracted to him. He asks if Sonny has a girlfriend. This makes Sonny think of Doll. Sonny finds himself telling Martin about the Running Braves, but then he stops himself. Martin understands, knowing that he has to concentrate on the fight.
While they are talking, Martin tells Sonny that he knows that Brooks thinks highly of Sonny. He understands that Sonny has real potential as a fighter, but it is really up to him. Martin begins writing up late plans. He says that his father was always putting him down, and he had hated the gym before Sonny came around. Sonny reminds him that it is because Jake came around.
Sonny is ready for the fight. He listens to Johnson's instructions and waits for his moment. The monster taunts him, trying to get him to ignore the advice Johnson gave him, but Sonny doesn't listen to the monster. The crowd jeers, and Sonny's opponents become angry and messy. Sonny wins the match. Brooks is there watching the fight, and he comes over to congratulate Sonny, calling him by name.
Sonny looks at his next opponent, Delgado, and determines a strategy for fighting him. The monster tries to get him on another track, but he doesn't listen. All his running has kept him in shape, and although Delgado is stronger than he, he is also weak in his legs. Sonny dances around until Delgado is exhausted then fights hard and wins. After the fight, they have a party at Martin's house, and they toast Sonny as the "future heavyweight champion of the world." Brooks has to leave to go back to work, and Sonny uses the phone to call Jake. The older man tells Sonny that he will be there at his fight the next Friday.
Some of the fighters taunt Sonny. He finds himself having to control the monster more frequently. With control, he beats them. One opponent uses his long arms to trap Sonny. Johnson tells him that it is good for him to learn different styles of fighting. When Jake goes back to Sonny's dressing room, he finds an envelope with a plane ticket in it. Sonny's mother wants him to fly out to Phoenix. He tells Jake that he has to stay and fight, and Jake shrugs and tells him that he is starting to look like a Brave.
Chapter 13-18 Analysis
His mother hadn't been there for him in the city, but now, when he is starting to gain control of himself and has a plan for his future, she comes in ready to whisk him away to a life that she deems better for him. Jake really knows him, and helps him once again. When circumstances put him in a tight situation, Sonny has to run off to New York City. This time, he isn't trying to his escape the Reservation. He is just ready to embrace his future.
Sonny leaves Jake, one of his strongest supporters, and shows up at the gym in New York where he is met by his other strongest supporter, Brooks. It isn't going to be easy, and Sonny is told that he is going to have to work very hard to achieve his goal, but Brooks has faith in him as a contender.
Living and working in the gym isn't a fast road to the easy life. Sonny has to work very hard, and he also has to work with people he doesn't appreciate. The time he appreciates the most is his time in the outdoors, where he is able to run. Although it is never pointed out, the reader might find a connection with this appreciation of nature in him and the appreciation of nature found in the Running Braves. Sonny keeps to himself, and silently observes what others are doing.
Sonny doesn't appreciate his Indian heritage, but his new training friend apparently does. He is completely in awe of Jake. He asks Sonny questions about his heritage, and his naivety for the Indian culture is similar to Sonny's naivety regarding the drug culture. Still, Martin's questions are not offensive, and he helps Sonny see Jake and his past in a different light.
When Jake leaves, Sonny finds that he is missing the man from whom he had been trying to run away. Jake's visit brings new energy to Sonny's training. Martin is more interested in helping him, and the two begin working as a formidable team. For the first time, others in the gym begin to see Sonny's talent and realize that he might be up to fighting with the pros.
In Chapter 17, Sonny was appreciating his time with Martin's family. It was a scene he was not familiar with, and he appreciated it. His first fight went well, and for the first time, he was able to control himself and suppressed the monster. It led him to victory.
Brooks supported Sonny during the fight, and Sonny's perspective on the monster began to change. He started to feel as if they were wings were rustling inside him. This is symbolic of the hawk that Jake always said resided within him. He was gaining strength as a controlled fighter, but had a long way to work before he got to the top. He had to learn to take control of the monster and use it as a positive energy in his own fighting. When he did this, he was proud of himself and wanted to share the moment with Brooks, but Brooks was gone. He had to go back to a stakeout, fighting his own battle against drug. His ring was the street. Brook's disappearance showed that Sonny was up to doing the right thing in his own fights, on his own.
This section contains 1,893 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)