’ The Bleacher’ by John Grisham
John Grisham was born in 1955. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University where he studied criminal law. He has written several books amongst them’ The Bleacher’ in 2008. The Bleacher takes the setting in the Community of Messina in Mississippi town. It captures the incident that is anticipated during the memorial ceremony of the legendary high school football coach Eddie Rake. The whole setting takes place in the town of Mississippi. Eddie was coaching Messina Spartans which saw the development of a number of talents among the students in the school. He also helped the school to attain the status a high school level, (Grisham, 5)
The story in the book takes duration four days. The whole four days scenario is exposed to us through the eye witness of Neely Crenshaw whose was also the product of Spartan football but then was a high school All-American quarterback. However, it’s unfortunate that his collections and experiences with Eddie Rake are different from what the good memories the Mississippi people have towards the death coach, (Grisham, 8). This is what the people normally face when they have lost their loved ones in trying to show their experiences with the late while a live.
The characters of the story
John Grahams has used various characters that look funny and typical while presenting his story to us. These characters behave differently from what the reader expects from them especially when they were high school, but he uses them to communicate the message aptly. First there is Crawford who is an athlete. He was the people’s hope of the best professional footballer but he turned out to be an Athlete. Second there is Cameron Lane. She is beautiful and is regarded by the community to be the model of an upcoming queen. She had a boyfriend while in High School whom people thought that she could get married to but she did not. This is because the boyfriend was on illegal drugs which affected him while in campus. The two never lived up to the expectation of the Mississippi people, (Grisham, 21).
The legendary high school coach, the late Eddie is the one who has brought together these characters and the Mississippi community at large in his memorial ceremony. The reader does not meet him while alive but it’s the action of the community that helps us to tell whom he was. Was he bad or good? From the look in his memorial services, the couch was a binding factor in that community of Messina as numerous people came to bid him a lifetime farewell. These include his former high school students Cameron Lane and Crawford. The players and the Messina community in general have no option other than to show their love to him, (Grisham, 46). The players are said to have vividly remembered him both working as a slave driver and a mentor while in his high school holding the post as a coach in Messina Spartan.
The conflict aligning in the Messina community is just on the life of the football high school coach the late Eddie Rake. The Mississippi people and the players themselves are undecided on whether to accept the coach as being bad or good. Throughout the memorial services the players and the people must decide whether to love him or to hate him.To the players, Eddie was a mentor who had helped Crawford to be what he is. Despite the fact that he was expected to be a professional footballer whom he didn’t manage, he is still what the society can see in a player’s lifetime an athlete.
To the community, Eddie made a remarkable input which can be remembered in the history of that community. He managed to raise Messina Spartan School into the status of a high school. This is a grate achievement which the society cannot once forget especially at the time of his death. Thus the source of the conflict in the novel is all about the treatment of the beloved one Eddie whom the community is commemorating in his memorial services, (Grisham, 47). They are torn a part between expressing their love or hatred now that he is gone.
This is a very good book. The writer, Grisham has brought to us in broad day light the problem the living faces when a loved one has passed away. They are unable to judge him through his deeds while a live. For instance, despite what Eddie deed to the community in uplifting the status of the Messina Spartan School into a high school, working as a slave driver as well as the coach and mentor to their sons and daughters of the Messina community, the people are torn a part in judging him fairly,(Grisham,87). He is seen as an important figure in this society. Thus the book clearly tells the society what it is expected of it when succumbed in such a scenario. It’s expected to give the devil his due however bitter or sweet it may be. The book can be believed because it actually captures what almost every community faces while bidding farewells to them.
This story contained in 192 pages of this book seems to be real. It’s in every day life that we see people doing their best to the success of their society. However good things one does on Earth, there are bad ones that follows him up. In this book the good thing outdoes the bad ones. The writer decided to handle the good part of Eddie’s life and that is why the society is avoiding in giving vague judgment. It seems the people of Mississippi are aware of the other side of Eddie’s life that does not ogre well with them. They have avoided so much to decide the fate of Eddie because they want to weigh well and give him a credit where he deserves. Thus in this memorial ceremony, the society has come in good number to see his last days on earth but cannot declare there believe in him whether to hate or love him. This a true feature of the society today when biding farewell to the beloved one. Thus it’s real.
Why the story in the book can be a reality
The main theme in the book is about treatment of the death. It’s what has been happening, what is happening and what is bound to happen to any community. The death was one of us whom we shared and exchanged a lot things during their lifetimes. It’s out of these that we are faced with memories of either good or dirty past.
Through these we are able to see the deceased lifetime in totality and in one way we are able to extract good from the bad times and incidences of his life. However minor portion the bad part of his life may carry, it’s bound to have a negative impact of the final decision to be made. Thus in realities we are made unable to make an immediate decision about his characters while a live. Hence unable to decide whether to love him fully or hate him. The story can be in reality.
The story surrounding the novel the Bleacher is bound to happen in reality. As the story is narrated to us through the writer, it’s seen in the eyes of the reader as something that happened and is bound to happen in future. It’s a true story of what is happening in the societies today, although it has also been there before. The impact of death though they are gone is still felt by the living. People are torn a part between deciding what to say about him and what to do to him now that he or she is gone.
However much they will talk and say about the death, we are still left with one thing to do, i.e. show our acceptance or rejection of them. That is what is happening in Messina when the coach Eddie dies. They are able to talk and commemorate about his past time with them, but they are unable to decide their fate in him, (Grisham, 86). Thus it can happen in reality since it involves what happens in the society where we live everyday. We cannot avoid the deaths since they were part of us in the world.
The book tackles tentatively what is happening in every society and in every day. In this short novel of 192 pages, Grisham tells us about life. Growing up and growing old the writer has taken us back to the people we treasured so much in high school and what we managed to gain out of it. It also takes a back to the people in the past that helped to see our success and how much we can admire their hand up to their graves. In the process the writer criticizes our weak mind that bars us from making an informed choice about the people who have contributed so much to our success. It’s the true nature of the society and its people who are reluctant to accept reality once confronted with it.