“Winners Go First” is the short story by Trent Masiki that reveals the complex conflict of the narrator with his family members. The main characters of the story are brothers, Anthony and Torrie, the narrator. They come to the field to compete in throwing rocks into cans and bottles. Anthony wins as he hits more targets, while the narrator loses. In the course of the story, the author reveals a number of conflicts. The conflict between the narrator, Torrie, and his brother is one of the central conflicts of the short story. Another conflict exists between Torrie and his father. Even though the father has never appeared in the story, Torrie is afraid of him and suffers from the permanent pressure from the part of his father. In addition, the narrator has internal conflict between his internal inclinations and his weakness in face of his family members. He feels being a loser, although he is eager to become a winner.
The author describes in details the environment and the competition to convey the gloomy atmosphere and tension between brothers.
The narrator wants to be straightforward and takes everything seriously, while his brother is just fooling around and laughs at his younger brother. For instance, the narrator says: “Look. Just go ahead and throw, and stop clowning”. Instead, Anthony is just making fun of the narrator: “Boy, you oughta quit. You been reading too many of them king fu books”. And when Anthony believes the narrator was praying, he responds “I wasn’t praying. I was concentrating”. In such a way, the author reveals the conflict between the internal world of the character and the outer world. His brother as well as other people in his environment fails to understand him, while the narrator looks for his own way in the life.
Bizzell, P. and B. Herzberg. (2005). The Rhetorical Tradition-Readings from Classical Times to the Present. New York: Allyson and Beacon.
Black, E. (2004). Rhetorical Criticism a Study in Method. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
Masiki, T. Winners Go First.