Defining The Winners And Losers English Literature Essay

‘Winning is n’t everything, it ‘s the lone thing ‘ ( Lattterell 210 ) . Spoken by one of the most well-known football managers of all time, Vince Lombardi sums up the value America topographic points on competition in this quotation mark. America is dominated by the cultural premise that the function competition plays in the United States is to specify victors and also-rans. While the premise does value difficult work, doggedness, and giving all one ‘s got as a tract to go a victor every bit good as whoever or whatever one dreams of being in life, the premise fails to acknowledge Americans ‘ compulsions with the infinite new ways they concoct merely to turn out themselves as victors. In add-on, the premise does non take into history the manner competition can turn into an out-of-control complete loss of civility ( Latterell 211-213 ) . Even more so, specifying victors and also-rans causes Americans to value the extrinsic wagess for viing alternatively of looking at the value of intrinsic motive and cooperation ( Latterell 213-214 ) . Joshua Davis and Alfie Kohn each inquiry the premise that constitutes about every facet of Americans ‘ lives and reflects America ‘s compulsion with specifying victors and also-rans.

To get down with, Joshua Davis looks at the American cultural premise on competition in his essay “ Team USA ” by looking at how it played a function in his ain life. From early childhood, Davis had been influenced by his female parent to go the title-holder she had ne’er become. Ever since his female parent topographic point fifth in the 1962 Miss USA competition, she looked to her boy to go the title-holder she had ne’er been. Even after all of her achievements, she still saw herself as a also-ran or merely mean, and hence, she wanted her boy to go the victor she could no longer go ( 263-264 ) . Equally humourous as it sounds, the five-foot-nine-inch, 129-pound informations entry clerk looked to carry through his end to go a victor in his ain right by going a professional arm grappler ( 262 ) . In the terminal, Davis made it all the manner to the World Arm Wrestling Championships and ended up acquiring seventeenth in a field of 18. Humorously, Davis is now graded seventeenth in the universe for the 132-pound arm wrestle division without even winning one individual lucifer ( 275 ) .

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Overall, the essay pokes merriment at the American ideal that any single can go a title-holder and victor if he/she truly puts his/her head to it and give it everything he/she has got. American society is so concerned with being victors that Davis wonders where an mean citizen like himself stands out in society ( 275 ) . The fact that this mean citizen, who has been labeled a loser his full life, becomes an internationally graded arm grappler without winning one lucifer reflects Americans ‘ absurd desire to turn out themselves as victors in any manner conceivable. Davis ‘s narrative is a direct unfavorable judgment of America ‘s premise on the value of competition. It is even indispensable to take notice of the manner Davis criticizes America ‘s cultural premise that difficult work and utmost attempt will acquire anyone to the top. His essay criticizes the premise because he became internationally ranked with non one win and non about the sum of clip and difficult work that is needed to make such a high position. By composing about his experience of going an internationally graded arm grappler through nothing wins and no experiences or lucifers in arm-wrestling in his life prior to the U.S. National Arm Wrestling Championships, the essay further points out the silly, pathetic, eccentric, and yet amusing ways Americans try to turn out themselves as victors ( 265 ) . His female parent ‘s letdown that came from viing in beauty pageants followed by her strong desire to force her ain boy to the position of title-holder is a sad representative illustration of America ‘s cultural desire to win-at-all-costs for trophies and other extrinsic wagess. The fact that some arm grapplers had their legs amputated in order to cut off unneeded weight so that they could hold a better advantage at winning the gold is yet another pathetic extreme people resort to in order to acquire themselves to the admirable, distinguished position of being a victor ( 275 ) . Basically, the essay is a unfavorable judgment of the value Americans topographic point on being a victor and the steps people go to in order to go a victor.

In “ No Contest: Play, Fun, and Competition, ” Alfie Kohn argues against the cultural premise that competition and specifying victors and also-rans is more gratifying than drama ( 277 ) . To get down with, Kohn defines drama and competition as two separate entities. He sees play as a voluntary and delighting beginning of freedom free from being serious and free from the recordings of consequences and tonss because they do non count in drama. Whereas drama represents a ‘process orientation ‘ ( 278 ) that is per se sweet, competition represents a ‘product orientation ‘ ( 278 ) that is extrinsically satisfying. Furthermore, competition is strongly regulated with many regulations. Motivating Americans for credence outside of oneself, competition is really goal-oriented with strong inducements to obtain power, trophies, and/or money ( 278-280 ) . In competition, person must stop up a also-ran ( 286 ) .

Kohn makes a really of import point in detecting that it is really difficult for Americans to bask their leisure clip when it is filled with competitions that straight resemble corporate America and America ‘s hierarchal societal position system ( 280 ) . In kernel, Kohn is stating that competition particularly athleticss resemble work more than it resembles pleasance and leisure ( 279 ) . Competitions and athleticss are chiefly acquiring people ready for a life that is filled with work, competition, and victors and also-rans ( 280 ) . One of Kohn ‘s most of import points is when he states that “ We have been raised to tie in diversion with the win/lose theoretical account of our society, to presume that holding merriment means person has to stop up a also-ran ” ( 286 ) . More significantly is the fact that when a master is named and receives an external wages for their achievement over another person/team, any other satisfaction that could come from a game is lost. Thus the end and the focal point are merely on winning in order to have society ‘s favour, worship, and regard ( 282 ) .

In order to give a better look of what play looks like, it is necessary to at least place one of the many noncompetitive games cited in his essay. One such illustration is the co-op instead than noncompetitive game called Cooperative Bowling. In this illustration of drama, participants try to take down all 10 pins in every bit many unit of ammunitions as there are participants. It is besides important to observe that in drama others are spouses instead than oppositions as in competition ( 288 ) .

Overall, Kohn ‘s chief point he tries to acquire across is his belief that drama non merely can be much more gratifying than the win/lose construction of competition, but that drama can besides do people an overall better homo being than competition can ( 277 ) . Furthermore, his full essay helps asseverate that drama has many more benefits compared to the benefits of competition. Kohn uses the alone advantages people think competition offers and shows how they can be merely every bit advantageous if non more when 1 is involved in drama of all sorts. When looking at the alone quality of teamwork, drama is more good and gratifying because teamwork is, merely stated, a concerted activity aimed at working together towards a common end. Therefore, since drama forces everyone to collaborate together while competition involves one group working against another enemy, drama is twice every bit satisfying as competition is ( 283 ) . In add-on, drama can be merely every bit disputing as competition as evidenced by Concerted Bowling ( 287-288 ) . Play can besides affect a finding to crush one ‘s ain old record such as in running to crush one ‘s old clip ( s ) . It is of import to observe that this illustration of drama does non affect competition because there are no victors or also-rans ; there is merely a push to dispute and better oneself instead than compare oneself to others as competition does ( 284 ) . Every effort whether failed or succeeded is however good when a individual challenges himself/herself.

One cardinal characteristic of competition is the devastation and disadvantages, that competition, and non play, creates. Competition and drama are both similar in that they are supposed to supply big scale engagement and enjoyment. However, looking at the rates of engagement in North America makes one conclude that competition is non really popular or really much enjoyed. ‘In North America it is non uncommon to lose from 80 to 90 per centum of our registered organized athleticss participants by 15 old ages of age ‘ ( 285 ) . That statistic entirely should stand out as a major drawback of competition since competition is meant to give huge engagement and enjoyment. Even more so, the permeant fight in kids ‘s athletic plans such as Little League baseball helps one to see the harm competition causes. Angry parents who yell at their kids, mortifying them in the procedure, are such sad sights to see because they merely to desire to see their kids win ( 286 ) . As a certified association football referee who has refereed for over four old ages now, I can strongly hold with this statement. Competition and athleticss are valued and accepted for their ill will, aggression, and force every bit good ( 281 ) . It is difficult to correlate competition with merriment, enjoyment, and alone advantages with this sort of grounds ( 286 ) .

Findingss show that one time kids are exposed to noncompetitive games they by and large prefer these games compared to competitory 1s. However, society is socialized and brainwashed into believing that competition is more gratifying. When persons are judged on their ain attempts as in drama or noncompetitive games and non compared or measured to any other persons, greater benefits and enjoyment can be obtained ( 287 ) . Concerted games offer a satisfaction non merely for the success of oneself but besides for the success of all involved ; unhappily, this gratifying advantage is absent from competition ( 289 ) .

In decision, America is encompassed with the premise that the lone manner to bask and profit from leisure clip is to prosecute in the win/lose theoretical account of competition. While competition is improbable to melt from its high ranks in capitalistic America, it is indispensable for Americans to look more at drama and noncompetitive games as chances for furthering societal harmoniousness and enjoyment and success for all.

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