The first and most important theme is that of forgiveness. Eddie Rake slapped Neely for losing the first half of the championship game in which prompted Neely to knock his coach out. Neely himself had drifted through the last 15 years of his life, bitter about his knee injury and his wife leaving him. Now, Neely must not only forgive his coach for all that he had done to him, but he must also forgive himself for his own bitterness, his weakness in being unable to give up football, and his cruelty to others like Cameron. Through the vigil for Eddie Rake, he also sits a vigil for who he used to be.
|Published (Last):||27 April 2015|
|PDF File Size:||11.51 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||12.76 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The first and most important theme is that of forgiveness. Eddie Rake slapped Neely for losing the first half of the championship game in which prompted Neely to knock his coach out. Neely himself had drifted through the last 15 years of his life, bitter about his knee injury and his wife leaving him.
Now, Neely must not only forgive his coach for all that he had done to him, but he must also forgive himself for his own bitterness, his weakness in being unable to give up football, and his cruelty to others like Cameron. Through the vigil for Eddie Rake, he also sits a vigil for who he used to be.
The second theme is what makes true greatness? Eddie Rake was a flawed human just as we all are. He made mistakes that eventually led to his losing his job and from some of his players feeling bitter toward him. However, at his death vigil and funeral, the reader is allowed to see that he was a truly great man.
He loved his family even though he dominated them. His greatness came about in the way he influenced all those whose lives he touched. He helped mold their characters for the better and ached for them and with them when they fell short. As a result, he passed on to the next generation through them a true way to live life properly. This is a lesson Neely has a hard time learning. He spends 15 years of his life feeling bitter, because he suffers a career-ending knee injury that prevents him from ever playing professional football and because his wife leaves him after suffering two miscarriages even though he drove a former girlfriend to an abortion clinic to destroy his first child.
He is also bitter about what Coach Rake had done to him in the locker room during the championship game of He has never been able to forgive the man until he returns to his old hometown for the first time in 15 years to sit a death vigil for the man. A final theme concerns the idea of misplaced priorities. There is a sense that for these young men the pressure of being a championship football team exacts terrible consequences. The worst of these is the belief that they are nothing if they cannot play football, and some go through life never coming to terms with high school graduation.
For a town like Messina, there is the loss that other students have to face if they are not football players. This is a lesson that the author subtlely alludes to, but nonetheless makes the reader think about. Where do we put our funds that will do the most good for the most students, and how do we deal with citizens who only want to see a winning team so that they have bragging rights over other towns? It is a conundrum that much of America faces, especially in small towns where the funding is the smallest.
The mood is often somber, bitter, and filled with regret. However, it is also uplifting as so many people come to realize the great influence Eddie Rake had on their lives.
It is also uplifting, because the reader realizes that when a man can apologize as both Eddie and Neely do to those they have hurt, then nothing but good can come of it in so many ways. Born February 8, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. John Grisham had wanted to be a professional baseball player. In between his courthouse dates and serving in the Mississippi House of Reprentatives , he took time to begin writing his first novel. It was titled A Time to Kill and was the result of a case he overheard at the courthouse of a twelve year old girl who had been raped.
He has written a novel a year ever since, many of which became major motion pictures. Today, he splits his time with his wife Renee and two children Ty and Shea at his Victorian farm home in Mississippi and a farm in Virginia. He also devotes his time to charitable causes like Rebuild the Coast Fund and being Commissioner of the local Little League. What Makes True Greatness? Misplaced Priorities A final theme concerns the idea of misplaced priorities. MOOD The mood is often somber, bitter, and filled with regret.
Cite this page: Clapsaddle, Diane.
A whole new ball game
John Grisham's 16th novel is not quite what you might expect: Bleachers is no clunking legal thriller but a slim, plotless little number about football. No Mafia, no dodgy juries, and not a struggling young attorney fighting against the system in sight. In so far as there is one, the hero of Bleachers is an ex-coach called Eddie Rake, a legend in the small town of Messina, whose football team he used to inspire to spectacular success. However, Eddie only appears towards the end, and in a coffin. The novel takes place during his last few days, so Eddie lies off-stage on his deathbed while the former players, who've gathered at the stadium to mark his passing, remember old times. Because the sport is, of course, not the kind loved and adored throughout the rest of the world but American football, the veteran stars who are recalling the triumphs of 15 years before are still in their early 30s.
Look Inside. Sep 09, Minutes Buy. High school all-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty. For Neely Crenshaw, a man who must finally forgive his coach — and himself — before he can get on with his life, the stakes are especially high.