A Piece of Steak

by Jack London

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Why is winning the fight important for Tom King?

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Winning the fight is important because it will allow Tom King to put food on the table—literally. He and his family are in a bad way. They never have enough money and the children are often sent to bed early without any supper. Under the circumstances, Tom feels he has no choice but to put on his boxing gloves once again and take to the ring.

He's no longer what he once was; he's getting on a bit, and his movements aren't quite as graceful and steady as they used to be back in the day. But Tom reckons he can still fight. In any case, he doesn't have much choice. He's sick of his family going without food, including those nice, juicy steaks that he misses so much but can no longer afford.

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Winning the fight is important for Tom King because he is in debt and doesn't have enough money to take care of his family. If he wins, he gets enough money to clear the debt and then some.

Tom King is preparing to fight a younger opponent, Sandel. His family is in dire straits. They're deep in debt and don't have enough money for food. He even asks his wife to make him a steak before the fight but she isn't able to get the money from the store on credit. She and their children weren't even able to eat dinner; Tom ate what was available to fuel him for the fight.

If Tom can beat Sandel, he'll win prize money of 30 quid. He thinks that he can use it to pay off the landlord and the tradesmen. He'll even have a bit of money left over. He'll be able to take care of his family.

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