Does Greg overcome his conflicts at the of the story Slam!?
I know that Greg faced many problems throughout the story. Some dealt with relationships, education, and his favorite sport, which was basketball.
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The story ends with the clear message that conflicts are and always will be a part of life. Of the many problems that Greg faces throughout the narrative, none have reached a positive conclusion that is definite and lasting.
As far as his education is concerned, Greg has refused the help of the volunteer tutor offered by the school and is instead working with the help of his studious girlfriend Mtisha. Mtisha is unyielding and challenges Greg to do his best even when he reacts with anger and frustration; the author gives the reader the sense that, although he is trying, academic achievement will always be a struggle for Greg.
Greg's relationship with Mtisha seems to be moving in a positive direction by the end of the book, but it is by no means certain that things will work out for them. Mtisha has made it clear that she plans to go away to college and do something positive with her life. Although she is obviously drawn to Greg, she has made it clear to him that her education comes first, and has told him up front not to fall in love with her. The future of Greg's relationship with his best friend Ice is even more questionable. Greg has just found out that Ice has been lying to him and is dealing drugs, and Greg feels hurt and betrayed.
Things are looking better for Greg on the basketball team by the end of the book. He is slowly beginning to understand what it means to be a team player, and has at long last earned the respect of his coach. Ironically, however, basketball now seems unimportant in the face of Greg's realization that his best friend has made some hugely damaging choices in his life.
Greg is completely aware at the end of the story that his life will always be a struggle. He says,
"What I wished was that things would stop for awhile and maybe we could all catch a breath and check out the score or something. That wasn't happening. What was happening was that the clock was still running...and we had to keep on keeping on the best way we could" (Chapter 21).
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