Critical Lens Essay
American poet Robert Elliot Gonzales once wrote, “A good many family trees are shady.” What he means is that parents do not always give their children what is most necessary to achieve in life. In Ex-Basketball Player by John Updike and Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller the main characters lack self-esteem and cannot fulfill their dreams primarily because of their lack of familial support. More specifically, the protagonists, Flick Webb and Biff Lowman, suffer a life of failure and mediocrity as they experienced the pinnacles of their lives at far too young an age, and from an unsupportive family. The Authors develop strong characterization within a bleak setting, use strong symbolism, and raise interesting themes about the hardship of self-realization.
The ex-basketball player experienced the best day of his life during his high school career. Pearl Avenue is mentioned because he is very precious, and a road to riches. Pearl Avenue is accessed from the high school. “A head at all-more of a football type” this means that basketball players are smarter than football players. Flick has a potential for success because he was amazing at basketball. The team he played for was the wizards, this was magical. Flick was so good he bucketed three hundred ninety points. His hands were like wild birds.
Flick Webb has a dark side to life. He never became the pro basketball player he wanted to be. Now he works at a gas station. “As a gag, he dribbles an inner tube,” this means that he still has dreams about his basketball career. He hangs around Berths garage which is on the corner facing west. This is a conflict because “facing west” is similar to the westward expansion. This was a gamble for Flick and he could not take it. Updike named a character Berth because that is where Flick will spend the rest of his life. Flick has absolutely nothing to fall back on.
Biff experienced the “best day of his life” during his high school career....
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