Homework Help

I'm reading the book Triumph by Jeremy Schaap and I need to know a statement of theme...

user profile pic

kayrose | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 1, 2012 at 11:23 PM via iOS

dislike 1 like

I'm reading the book Triumph by Jeremy Schaap and I need to know a statement of theme that is exemplified throughout the book.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

I think that one particular theme that is present in Schaap's work is how sports can be a unifying principle in the face of social division.  Hitler's hosting of the 1936 Olympics was supposed to be the grand stage in which the Nazi ideology of racial superiority was to be on display for the world to see.  At a critical moment in world history, Nazism was to be promoted for the entire world, almost a galvanizing statement on how the world should view racial difference.  At this particular moment, Owens, the son of Black sharecroppers from the racially segregated South, emerged on this stage.  Owens' success at the Olympics demonstrated the fundamental flaws in Hitler's Nazi ideology of racial supremacy.  It also began to shine a provocative light on the racial segregation that was evident in America.  Owens' athletic ability turned into a political statement.  It was an instant where the theme that athletics can be a point of unity in a world of division.  Jesse Owens' "triumph" was not only a victory in this battle, but proved how a level playing field can demonstrate the purest display of excellence, one that transcends race, class, and power.  In this, the theme of how the purity of athletics can serve as an antidote to the poison that exists in social orders that practice exclusion and marginalization.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes