Friday Night Lights Rhetorical Analysis

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A town, a team, a dream. Friday Night lights document the 1988 football season of Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. Bissinger explores the various themes of the novel and uses conceit to colorfully describe the contrasting attitudes towards sports and academics. In the small town of Odessa bases Fridays nights in the fall are dedicated to Permian football. As a result of the obsessive attitude towards football a ridiculous amount of pressure is thrusted upon the coaches and players. Bissinger tackled the many problems in the town such as extreme pressure to perform, racism, and the relationship between parent and child. While Bissinger had several preconceived notions, he was ultimately proven wrong and through analysis of themes and incorporation of comparisons in the form of conceits he was able to develop his understanding of the town and accurately depict the events that transpired. When examining Friday Night Lights, the book’s themes are quite clear. Bissinger explores the impact of adults’ living vicariously through their children. He introduces the typical football player’s parents in the form of Dale McDougal who lives and breathes to see her son, Jerrod play football. “His mother, Dale, felt the same way, for football had become as important to her as it had to her son. She went to every practice, and on Thursday nights she always invited a bunch of the players over for lasagna. She had sobbed after the loss to Lee just as hard as Jerrod had, for she feared the season’s ending every bit as much as he did” (Bissinger 249). Bissinger is astounded by the need of the parents to push their children into sports. Bissinger also analyzes the theme of downfall through several characters. His conclusion, life is not fair. Bo... ... middle of paper ... ...ayers finished dressing with the methodical pride of a bride preparing for her wedding, every piece of equipment adjusted and pulled until it was perfect…” (Bissinger 271-272). Bissinger is trying to emphasize the vanity of the entire process. Football was not just a sport in Odessa, it was a lifestyle. In Friday Night Lights, Bissinger follows Permian’s high school football team. He is able to gain an understanding of the towns social components, and in the novel he analyzes the incompetence of the adults when making decision for their children, the bitter racism and unhealthy emphasis on the success of the football team. The author often compares Permian to a variety of schools and highlights the disproportionate emphasis on football and touches upon the vanity of the entire events. All in all, Bissinger is able to effectively show the reader the real Odessa.

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