Hockey Culture In Eric Walters's Power Play

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Eric Walters’ novel, Power Play, illustrates hockey culture in an evolving fashion. Power Play tells the climactic story of Cody, a bold and determined boy struggling with the downfalls that come with advancing in his hockey career. Cody’s prosperity in being drafted to a Junior A team seems to be an incredible blessing for him; He would be in another city, away from his drunk of a father, he would be taking the next step towards his dream, playing in the NHL, the Show, and he would be doing it all with his new Coach that discovered and mentored him and offered to bring him to success, Coach Connors. However, Coach Connors begins to manipulate, repeatedly sexually abuse and threaten Cody, which forces Cody to spiral downwards into deep depression…show more content…
As stated, Power Play illustrates hockey culture in an evolving fashion. Cody’s views on hockey change from the sport being considered a blissful break from school and his home, in which he could work hard for the most predominant focus in his life, being in the Show, to then considering it as the bane of his existence. Although he is a fictional character, Cody acts as a representation of the young Canadian hockey players that, in reality, were molested by their coach. As a result of Cody’s aforementioned changing views and the abuse in Power Play having been based on true occurrences, hockey culture is represented in both positive and negative perspectives, as a therapeutic and goal-oriented lifestyle and as a vile and unbearable prison. At the beginning of the novel, hockey seems to be the most positive influence in Cody’s life.…show more content…
The book’s evolving opinion about hockey might be interpreted as a tool for the public to read and perhaps comprehend the negative reality that occurs in and outside of the story. Cody’s outlooks on hockey develop from positive, to negative, and then, again, to positive. At first, Cody loves hockey; it makes him happy, dedicated, hardworking and is a positive outlet leading him to a bright future. When Cody begins playing for Coach Connors’ team, the abuse begins and his love for hockey is replaced with alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, and misery. His positive view of hockey come to be negative because of the effects of Connors’ abuse that he, in the words of Theo Fleury, young hockey player abused by Graham James, “did not have the emotional skills, the knowledge, or the ability to stop [it].” (Globe and Mail) Once Cody comes forward about the abuse and the public’s interest has lessened, he realizes that hockey was not the source of his pain, Connors was, and now that Connors was gone, he could go back to loving hockey the way he always did, without abuse, alcohol and misery clouding his judgment. In Power Play, as hockey is Cody’s whole life, it is his greatest strength as well as his greatest weakness which is why hockey culture is illustrated by both positive and negative
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