Joyce Carol Oates Golden Gloves Analysis

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Hollywood has set some unrealistic expectations about boxing and in the majority of their movies that portray the sport. Movies like “Million Dollar Baby”, and “The Fighter” all glorify the boxing element, and make the audience want to pick up a pair of gloves and start fighting. Boxing is showcased to be a violent sport with lots of passion, and strong victories, but Hollywood is less able to show the emotional side of the sport. However Joyce Carol Oates’ “Golden Gloves” succeeds at creating a narrative about a young man’s emotional journey into adulthood through the lens of boxing. Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “Golden Gloves” has many parallels between life, childbirth, and boxing. “Golden Gloves” explores pain and misconceptions through…show more content…
“On one hand, “Golden Gloves” evokes the glamourous dimensions of boxing and it presents it as a heroic theatre of individual confrontation with fate, on the other hand it deflates this romanticizing and reveals the way that rhetorical flourishes may influence readers into accepting the cultural myths that foster boxing and authorize bodily pain.” (Morris) This sums up the two parts in the story. The beginning part shows us the heroic and inspiring part (the underdog rises up and is seen with great potential), and we see just how influenced that boy was with the media view of boxing. From the day that his father took him to watch the tournament he was only focused on the effects of winning, and the exact moment of triumph that brought them their win. He never stopped to imagine what it felt like to be the loser, for there is no glamour in losing. The young boy did not consider boxing to be dangerous because “it was only dangerous if you made mistakes” [pg. 778] (Oates) and he was not going to make any mistakes. The other part of the story focuses the effect of boxing on the boy, now a man. Growing up, he was given a promise, the promise was that he couldn’t lose and because of this that knockout punch did just that, it knocked him out of any chance he had to succeed because he had the mindset of winning and now considered himself to be a loser.
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