English 245: Modern Fiction

a collaborative exploration of pervasive tropes, themes, and concepts in contemporary fiction


January 2016

Victory Lap: Repression = Rescue?

Hello everybody,

So I know in class we all kinda seemed to agree that in Victory Lap, Kyle was an over-controlled but good kid who knew the right thing to do and Alison was a bit of an airhead.  By that I mean she lived in a world in her head where things like this happened:


She’s a very passive and innocent character, while Kyle runs around like a lunatic hero.

However, I was thinking about Kyle and how he reacted the way he did and the emotional process we “see” him going through to get there.  The process here being that his logically thinking brain shut down and his feet flew him to Alison’s rescue.  We see his parents’ rules and voices being presented as things that are internally hindering him from “making the right call” or whatever you want to call it.  But what if it was that complete and utter repression of all his emotions and anger (thanks mom and dad), that led to such a proactive and violent outburst from him?

He wasn’t thinking or using his brain when he ran out to save Alison.  It was just a complete emotional and physical reaction, it was him snapping.  He almost snapped a little too far, as we’re led to believe by the fact that it was only Alison screaming at him that kept him from killing.  I wonder if his parents had been more relaxed he wouldn’t have responded like that at all, maybe he would have just called 911 and written down the license plate of the car.  What do you guys think?  This is supposed to be less of a “what if” question and more of a, “maybe this thing that kinda seemed like it was stopping him was actually what made him do it in the first place” kind of question.  Kyle’s Repression = Alison’s Rescue?




This blog is where we will articulate our thoughts about the things we are reading, and other contemporary fictions. Its purpose is to enhance in-class discussions of the texts we are considering as well as take into account the many fictions we encounter in our daily lives.

Writing enhances understanding, and this assignment is designed to get you doing a lot of short, informal writing as a way to think through ideas and make connections.

The sharing of ideas often sparks new ideas, so writing in a connected, public space allows us not only to better understand what we’re reading by writing about it, but also to better understand and articulate our own thoughts in relation to those of others.

Be bold. Take risks. Make connections. Agree and disagree with one another. Explain why.

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