Questions on “Champion of the World” Analysis

Text Exercises

Champion of the World

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Questions on Meaning Answers

1. I believe that the author’s purpose in the story is to prove that African-Americans, who have been historically abused and have been victims of racism and discrimination, can also make an impact on the world like the their white American counterparts. In this case, it was through the victory of African-American boxer Joe Louis.

2. Maya Angelou relates the pride of African Americans with the outcome of the fight as a symbol of their race’s battle against oppression and abuse. As mentioned above, African-Americans used to be slaves and were considered low forms of life simply because of the color of their skin, which is why, for Angelou, a victory by the African-American boxer would also mean a victory for the rest of their race.

3. Paragraphs 16 and 17 are not only figurative statements but also truths. They symbolize the sufferings of the African American race and more or less show the harsh realities that they faced during that time.

4. The author’s error in the story is mainly for interpretation. However, her message is clear- the African-Americans, who have been mistreated in the past, can also make a difference in any endeavor in the world even if it means defeating their white American counterparts.

 Questions on Writing Strategy

1. Details such as the gathering of a large number of African-Americans were cramped up in a store, listening to the radio indicates that something very important was about to happen.

2. Angelou built up suspense by narrating how the African-American boxer, who was the reigning champion at the time, was badly being beaten up before rising up and overpowering his foe. I was able to predict the winner when the author described how the boxer was already battering his opponent after being nearly defeated.

3. The irony in Angelou’s paragraph in which she described that it would be dangerous for a black man to be seen alone on the road following the African-American boxer’s victory implied that their race was still subject to abuse and torment during that time. She indicated that the white Americans may take out their frustrations against their race.

4. The author’s use of direct quotations more or less show a human side to the story and adds credibility to the narration.

5. In paragraph 27 alone, the narration of the scene heavily depended on Angelou’s description of the African-Americans in the store after the victory Joe Louis. The author had to describe even the most simplest things such as men pouring beer on their bottles in order to show how important the victory of their boxer was.

Questions on Language

1. “String-along songs about razor blades” (5)  were simply the author’s narration of an advertisement on razor blades.

2. Strong verbs used in the story include ambushed, raped, maimed, and hanging on a tree, among others.

3. The author’s use of Non-Standard English made the story more or less easy to understand and easy to relate to because there are no strict formalities or rules on grammar and the like.

4. Apprehensive means being anxious about something. Assent means to agree to what has been discussed or proposed. Ambushed means to secretly attack an opponent. Maimed means to seriously hurt or injure someone. Ordained means to appoint officially. Ambrosia is a food of the Roman and Greek gods and white lighting means to be very quick and agile in movement.

Fish Cheeks

Questions on Meaning

1. Tan cried because she was both afraid that her crush would not appreciate the food that will be served to him and his family and also nervous that he will see him face to face.

2. Tan’s mother prepared a traditional Chinese meal to show that even though she is in a foreign country, she is true to her grass root. The best sentence to describe Tan’s situation- She was able to accept her true identity after years of experience and realizations.

3. Initially, Tan was a bit apprehensive about practicing her Chinese traditions and customs because she wanted to fit in the American culture. However, she realized in the end how important her background was and how her mother, who was an important part of her identity, loved her very much.

4. Basically, Tan’s purpose in writing this essay is to show how important it is to stay true to one’s identity, culture, and background, no matter where one goes.

Questions on Writing Strategy

1. Tan drew the attraction of the reader right from the beginning by narrating how she instantly fell in love with the minister’s son the moment she saw her and prayed for her nose to be American-like. This sets the tone for an entertaining story that would follow.

2.  The author used transitions by indicating what part of the house they were in and what happened after each event. She began and ended every paragraph with vivid descriptions of herself and her surroundings which can keep readers interested.

3. The irony in the last paragraph is that even though she didn’t like practicing her Chinese culture and background, she ended up embracing it by realizing after so many years that on the dinner with her crush and his family, her mother cooked her favorite foods for her.

4. Paragraph three of the story was a very colorful account of the Chinese food that Tan’s mother was preparing. The vivid use of descriptive words and adjectives were meant to make the reader imagine exactly what they were eating. The effect of this paragraph was for the readers to relate to the possible reaction of Tan’s crush, who is more used to American food such as turkey.

Questions on Language.

1. The simile which compared the boy’s skin color to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is surprising but nonetheless effective in indicate that he is an American. It is amusing mainly because there were plenty of other similes that Tan could’ve used and yet she chose Mary. In addition, the Chinese are not predominantly Catholics.

2. The narrator’s age affected the tone of the story by making it more entertaining than serious. The narrator did not make use of complex words and descriptions but rather straightforward accounts of the events. Language particularly appropriate for fourteen year olds include, “I was like going to the mall,” “Totally,” and other slang words and phrases.

3. Tan used the strong verbs most effectively in paragraph 5 in which she narrated how she wanted to “disappear” after seeing the reaction of their American guests to the Chinese food and customs during dinner.

4. Prawn is a large shrimp while tofu is a food made of soybeans. Clamor means to insist noisily. Grimace is a facial expression to indicate displeasure or disgust. Muster means to gather or bring together.

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Questions on “Champion of the World” Analysis. (2017, Feb 05). Retrieved from