The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

by Alan Sillitoe
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What are five crisis points in the story?

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A story will almost always have only one crisis point. Other things may happen to the character where he or she has to make a decision, but there is usually only one time in the story that the character has to make a decision from which there is no turning back. It is a decision that the entire story has built up to and one that will be used to bring the story to a climax.

The crisis point in The Loneliness of a Distance is when Smith has to make a decision between winning the race and joining the establishment or losing the race and staying true to his working-class roots.

It is not an easy decision to make because he has been identified by the establishment as a future star runner. If he does what they say then they will promise him a stable and even prosperous future.

Yet to follow them into that future would go against everything he believes in. He hates the establishment because he believes they champion and maintain a class system that only serves to keep them power and oppress the masses. Instead, he believes in a working class revolution. He can't wait for the day "blokes like me will take the pickings of his roasted bones and dance like maniacs around his Borstal's ruins."

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