The Brave Themes

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 608 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Finding an Identity

Throughout the book, Sonny is trying to figure out who he is. As Jake once points out, the boy seems to harness the worst from his Indian side and the worst from his white side. Jake encourages Sonny to focus on pulling out the best from each of the races in his heritage. At the beginning of the book, Sonny is doing everything he can to escape from the Reservation. Jacob wants him to become a Running Brave, and Sonny doesn't want to have anything to do with that. He knows the old man loves him, but he doesn't want to listen to him. He thinks the man is somewhat crazy.

Sonny is a fighter, and he also has a gift for drawing. He loves to draw, but he doesn't want others to know about this talent. It is a source of embarrassment to him. When he finally does come to terms with the fact that he is an artist as well as a fighter, it is when he is surrounded by close friends that he feels safe. Even though he can accept the artistic side of himself, and he realizes that it is an inheritance from his artist mother, he still prefers to embrace the fighting part of his personality. He finds his identity in this fighting side - but it is a harnessed identity, focused on the good like a true Running Brave as Jake has trained him to be.

Excelling in Boxing

Sonny has a real gift for boxing. He is powerful, and he is smart. He also has a passion for the sport. What he doesn't have is control. When he starts to fight, he gets angry, feeling what he calls the monster rise up in him. The monster entices him to lash out and use his brute strength to batter his opponent, but this doesn't always work.

Sonny learns that he has to spend time strengthening his body and working on his agility. He has to learn to identify his emotions and control them. Watching videos of fights helps him learn strategies, and Sonny also watches the pros train at the gym. In his own matches, he fights others with different styles and talents. He learns from them and uses these strategies to his own advantage in his fights.

He can't do it alone, and Sonny realizes that he has to listen to Johnson, Jake, and Brooks for guidance. He also has to work closely with Martin to develop fighting strategies. When he puts all of his lessons and experiences together, he becomes a formidable opponent in the ring.

Fighting Against Drugs

Sonny doesn't do drugs himself, and he is pretty naive when it comes to the drug culture. This is shown clearly when he gets to the city and Stick and Doll befriend him. He looks around and identifies others as drug users or dealers, but doesn't seem to suspect his new friends and their involvement with the drugs. Even after he finds out about what they do, the seriousness of their situation doesn't affect him negatively. He is offered money to transport drugs, and he is just happy for the cash.

Later, after he gets to know Brooks, he starts to understand why drugs are so bad. When he learns that Brooks' best friend died from drugs, and he learns that Stick is basically selling death to Middle School children, Sonny begins to think more about the seriousness of the drugs. Still, he doesn't want to turn in Stick or Doll - that is until the battle against drugs leaves Brooks in the hospital unable to walk.

This section contains 608 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Brave from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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