The Contender By Robert Lipsyte Character Analysis Spoon

Bill "Spoon" Witherspoon is the novel's best example of the Donatelli code put to practice. Spoon had been a promising light-heavyweight boxer, ranked seventh in his division. He was still winning fights when Mr. Donatelli said, "Billy, I think it's time," meaning Donatelli thought it was time for Spoon to quit boxing. It was time for Spoon to retire because, even though he was winning, Spoon was being beaten too hard in the ring. Donatelli told Spoon to use the money from his wins, which the wise old manager had forced him to save, to return to college full time. Spoon became a teacher, married another teacher named Betty, and lives in a racially mixed neighborhood in Washington Heights, an area of Manhattan. Within the context of the novel, Spoon serves as exemplar to Alfred, helping to prepare him for his bouts but primarily encouraging him to finish high school and do something more with his life.

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After James quits school, be starts hanging out with a gang led by which of the following characters?




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