In View From Saturday, who are David and Goliath in the author's allusion in Chapter 6?
Why is this allusion effective?
Chapter 17 of the First Book of Samuel in the Old Testament tells how the young David vanquished the giant Phillistine warrior, Goliath, with a slingshot.
Chapter 17 of 1Samuel in the Old Testament of the Bible tells the story of David and Goliath. Israel is at war with the Philistines, and Goliath, a giant of a man and the Philistines' most formidable warrior, challenges the Israelites to send a fighter of their choice to face him, with the outcome of the war to be decided by who wins the battle. David, a young shepherd boy, volunteers to take on the fearsome Goliath, and Saul, the leader of the Israelites, reluctantly agrees. Saul offers David his personal armor, but David chooses to face Goliath with only his slingshot and five smooth stones.
The image of the slight, seemingly insignificant shepherd boy going out against the enormous and powerful giant is classic. Even though he is so apparently overmatched, David launches a single stone with his slingshot and strikes Goliath in the head. The giant topples to the ground, at which point, in the greatest of upsets, David takes Goliath's sword and cuts off his head.
In Chapter 6 of A View From Saturday, Mrs. Olinski's sixth grade academic team defeats the seventh grade team and is scheduled to go up against the eight grade team, a momentous achievement since "no sixth grade had ever gotten that far". In an allusion which is quite effective, Mrs. Olinski's sixth graders are described as "David", with the far more mature eighth graders characterized as "Goliath". The sixth graders, the "kids with the (proverbial) slingshots", are, like the Biblical David, to all appearances hopelessly overmatched, but, also like David, they manage to vanquish the top class and go on to the regional competition.