Robert Lipsyte Writing Styles in The Brave

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Brave.
This section contains 631 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Point of View

This novel is written in both third person objective and in first person from Sonny's point of view. It offers insight into his thoughts and reactions to situations as well as his feelings and beliefs. The third person and first-person sections flow seamlessly from one to the other so the reader gets a well rounded-picture of each scenario. For example, in the opening of the book, the author writes in third person as Sonny enters the ring for a fight. During the third person narration in the first paragraph, Sonny interjects his thoughts regarding the situation. After two sentences in first person, the writing goes back to third person, detailing the events.

Because it is written in both third and first person, the reader gets to see the large picture of what is going on in Sonny's life and around him. The reader also get to see how Sonny is reacting to everything that is going on in his life, adding a personal connection to the reading.

Setting

The Brave takes place in two main areas, the Reservation in upstate New York and in New York City. This is important because it shows the contrast between two very different worlds. Sonny, a boy of mixed blood himself, is constantly fighting to balance the white world with the Indian world. For a period of time, he doesn't want to claim either side as his own. By the end of the book, he has to embrace both sides.

The book begins on the Reservation, and he takes his journey to New York City. He learns about the battles on the street as well as the battles in the ring. The street and the ring are very similar in regards to facing difficult opponents and learning how to control a situation to survive.

By the end of the book, the boy has come to terms with who he is as a person, and he comes full circle, back to his roots at the Reservation. This time, however, instead of fighting as an uncontrolled, unpopular novice, he fights as a champion who recognizes his own heritage.

Language and Meaning

One of the greatest strengths of this book is its use of language. The author uses strong verbs, propelling the action forward. Each main character has a unique voice. When the announcers talk, you feel as if you are at the ring. You read boxing terminology and understand it thanks to context, even if you are unfamiliar with the sport and its terms.

The kids from The Deuce use street talk, but as part of their interplay with each other, Doll interprets all the words from the street that Stick uses so Sonny can understand them. This also helps the reader understand what is going on. Jake is true to his character of bringing the lessons of the Running Braves through to his great nephew. He is the one with the stories and the talk about the hawk. Brooks is serious, yet compassionate. He uses the perfect linguistically balanced verbiage of a police man, a fatherly figure, and a fighter. Martin's verbiage is that of a typical teen. For example, when he tells Sonny that his sister is attracted to him, he says, "Denise got the warms for you."

Structure

The Brave by Robert Lipsyte consists of 24 chapters, each labeled by number. The story is followed by a section that highlights the author and a list of other books by the author. This is followed by credits, a copyright, and a section about the publisher.

The book has one main plot wherein Sonny goes on his journey to becoming a professional boxer. There is also a sub plot. In the subplot, Brooks is trying to take down Stick and his drug ring.

This section contains 631 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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