The Believability of John Grisham’s Bleachers Essay

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Many people form their opinions of whether or not a book is believable solely on the book’s classification as nonfiction or fiction. Others use New Critical analysis to determine whether a book is believable or not. The use of New Critical analysis requires the reader to consider events that happen throughout the book and any conflict that may have occurred. It also requires that the reader focus on the plot of the book and the characters. Grisham sets the book to take place in a small, football crazed town, known as Messina. The book is set in present day time, but Grisham uses his characters to incorporate flashbacks from the sixties, seventies, and eighties. Grisham uses many characters throughout the entire book to tell the story…show more content…
As Grisham stated: [on] Friday nights, the entire town of Messina waited for the gate to open, then rushed to the bleachers where seats were claimed and nervous pregame rituals were followed. The black, paved pasture around Rake Field would overflow long before the opening kickoff, sending the out-of-town traffic into the dirt roads and alleys and remote parking zones behind the school’s cafeteria and its baseball field. (2) Many people would question whether or not this detail is believable, especially if they are unaware of how big of a sport high school football is in the South. Grisham lets us see that high school football is a sport that the whole town of Messina was involved in. He also lets us see that the people of Messina not only loved high school football, but they had rituals they followed as well. Readers, who are unfamiliar with Southern high school football tradition, would question Grisham’s depiction of Messina’s rules. When describing an incident involving a Messina field keeper named “Rabbit” (43) and a speeding opposing player, known as “Lightning Loyd” (44), Grisham states that “the score was tied late in the third quarter” (44) when: to the horror (and delight) of ten thousand Messina faithful, Rabbit flung his bony and brittle body into the arena, and somewhere around the thirty-five-yard line, he collided with Lighting. The collision, while nearly fatal for Rabbit, who at the time was at least forty years old, had little

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