What are some ways to compare and contrast Wille and his father Big Will in The Crazy Horse Electric Game?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Willie is a star athlete like his father Big Will (William, Sr.). Two contrasts between them are that Big Will was a college football star and Willie is a high school baseball star. One comparison is that Willie and his dad both have trouble expressing sincere feelings. This is why Big Will and Willie don't have much of a relationship outside of a mutual enthusiasm for and excitement about sports performance. This trait is also what leads Willie to close off in bitter silence to his families and friends--of course this tendency is compounded by the natural sorrow, shock and confusion following the debilitating accident. And it it this trait that leads Big Will to a divorce.

There is another way in which the story shows that Willie and Big Will are different. Willie finally finds help that he can understand and value and is led by stages to open up to other people, like Lacey and Lisa and Sammy, and to find a new, constructive path for his life and dreams. On the other hand, Big Will turns to burying himself further in isolated solitude by creating the need for a divorce from Willie's mother and by becoming an alcoholic.