Literary Response Review

Sample Answers – Goalie by Rudy Thauberger
Be sure to clearly state the intended audience. If
you can, explain WHY this is the audience
(vocabulary, content...)
 Purpose: Wants us to think about _____.
 Message: What the author says about _____.
 Be sure to back up the message with at least 2
quotes or specific examples, and analyze them.
 Don’t be basic... Try to explain as best you can, in
The short story called “Goalie”, written by Rudy Thauberger, is written
for teenagers, because the text talked a lot about sports, and also about
how the son worked hard for this hobby. This text was written to make us
think about the pain and the pressure that players face during this
practice time. Therefore, the main message that the author tried to tell
us is that people can endure incredible pain and pressure when they’re
doing a thing that they really love. In the story, when the goalie starts to
practice, he starts to get hurt, but he still insists on doing it. For example,
“As practices begin [...] the injuries begin. Bruises. Sprains [...] his ankles
buckling under him. His muscles cramp. His nose bleeds. A nerve in his
chest begins to knot and fray”. Although he gets a lot of pain from it, he
never gives up, as he says in the story: “I love it”. Also, at the end of the
story, the father imagines what his son is going to answer about why he
does it. He thinks his son might say: “What choice do I have? Whggat else
have I ever wanted to do?” This shows that he can endure all the pains
when he’s doing the thing he loves as well.
The short story “Goalie”, by Rudy Thauberger, must appeal strongly
to parents who see their children growing up into adults. Although
this boy is a goalie, the story still applies to every child who is so
passionate about what they do that they always push themselves to
the maximum while getting “bruises” by the hardships they go
though to reach their goal. This text was written to truly capture the
changes into adulthood of all teenagers. Thauberger’s main
message is that although parents may not understand or love what
their child wants to do, adults need to always be supportive of their
children’s dreams. The narrator really captures this idea when he
sees his son bruised and in agony. He says: “You want to ask him
why. Why does he do it? Why does he go on? But you don’t ask.
Because you Know the answer. You imagine him, looking at you and
saying quietly, ‘What choice do I have? What else have I ever wanted
to do?’” (3). This father knows that he will never understand his son’s
dream, but he is okay with it. He understands that his son truly
wants to do this, it is his calling.
(continued next page...)
This also represents any career choice. It is inevitable that they will
be refused or replaced at some point, and their parents will
wonder the same questions: why do they do it? Why do they go
on? Parents will try to understand their children to see it from their
eyes, but it still might not help them any more than before. The
narrator attempts this. He wants to know why his son is as in love
with the game as he is. “You try to see the game from his eyes,” he
explains, “aware of everything, constantly clear. It’s not enough to
follow the puck. The position of the puck is old news. The game.
You try to understand the game. You fail” (3). The father is very
supportive of his son, despite seeing him swollen and in pain,
despite not fully understanding his ambition. He is a model of how
parents should be: encouraging their children no matter what they
When you make the connection, explain both
the issue/text, AND refer back to the main
With the world issue, BE SPECIFIC. Don’t be
general. For example, don’t just connect to
“Racism”. Connect to “The American South
during the Jim Crow Laws”, or “South Africa
under Apartheid”.
Goalie, by Rudy Thauberger, shows many strong
connections with the movie Rocky Balboa. In Goalie, we
see a boy that is constantly worn down and sore but,
through will alone, carries on. Rocky, played by Sylvester
Stallone, is the same way. He knows that he can
accomplish great feats, such as defeating his rival, so he
never gives up despite injuries, tiredness, and personal
issues. Even during the final fight he never surrenders
despite almost being killed. Another connection is that
they both train hard all year, rain or shine, to reach new
levels.In goalie the boy works all summer getting ready for
the season using tennis balls and by limbering up. In
Rocky, Stallone is seen training much of the movie to be fit
for his fight.
This text relates to the harshness of professional
sports. In the National Football League, the
average career length of a linebacker is 3-4
seasons. After that, they are either released due
to injuries or too worn down to play any longer.
It is a very similar situation in professional
hockey. Sprains, concussions, or broken bones
cost the career of many athletes. The boy in
Goalie portrays this well. He understands the
risks of playing hockey but continues anyway.
He is not ready to let petty incidents like that get
in the way of the National Hockey League.
In our main text, we see the son endure all the pain
and pressure, trying to be a good goalie, because he
loves it. In World War 2, when the Japanese invaded
China, all the Chinese started to stand up and protect
their own country and land, and although a lot of
people died and got injured in the war, they never
gave up. People kept fighting, because they loved
their country and didn’t want to lose it. So in this
issue, people were not afraid of death when they were
fighting for their country. It’s the same idea, because a
person’s own country is a thing they really love.
Be sure to properly identify and define the
Give a clear example.
Explain why this particular device was used...
Be specific ... Avoid generalities (this
metaphor lets the reader see the story more
If analyzing a metaphor, why was that
metaphor chosen? What does it add to the
The first literary device I found is IMAGERY. There is
both sound and visual imagery. Imagery is a literary
device which uses words to describe something in
detail. For instance, at the beginning, the son comes
home – the author describes the room: “The
equipment is everywhere, scattered, draped over
chairs, hung on hooks, thrown on the floor [...] His
room is the same, pure chaos, clothes and magazines
everywhere, spilling out of dresser drawers, into the
closer”. This imagery, how he treats his equipment
badly and the disorder of his room, shows us his
pressure and anger, because he releases all of these
my messing up his room and equipment. This helps
the reader to understand more about his pressure and
In addition, the author uses METAPHOR, which
is a description that makes a comparisoin
without using “like” or “as”. It appears on the last
page, when the son is playing the game. The
father says, “You try to move with him, watching
his eyes through his cage, and his hands”. The
author compares his son’s mask to a cage. It
effectively shows the son is miserable, puts
himself in a “cage”, and also makes the readers
know more clearly about the boy’s pain and
Throughout the story, Rudy Thauberger uses SECOND
PERSON PERSPECTIVE constantly. He uses this so
the reder connects more strongly to the goalie. They
step into the father’s shoes and immediately care for
his son as he is injured or unhappy. The way the author
puts the reder in this position really brings them close
to the son, mostly in situations in which he asks the
boy questions: “‘Do you enjoy it?’ you ask. ‘Do you
enjoy the game at least?’ He shrugs. ‘I love it,’ he says”
(2). Placing “you” is really effective at bringing the
reader into the story. There would be much less
attachment to him if he used words such as “I” or “The
Thauberger uses a lot of imagery to help establish the
goalie’s attitude and personality. He uses many clear
adjectives and verbs to paint a very clear picture of what is
happening. For example, when his son is returning home, he
explains: “His clothes are heavy with sweat. There are spots
of blood on his jersey, and on his pads... You hear the thump
of heavy leather, the clatter of plastic, the heavy whisper of
damp cloth” (1). The vivid picture that Thauberger creates
shows how worn out and tired his son is. He has clearly
suffered during the match, and the blood and sweat are
clear indicators. This is an important image that Thauberger
wants to show, as it is the basis of much of the story. His
father does not understand how he can keep going on, and
thanks to this passage, the reader feels the same way.
Explain strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t just repeat what you’ve already said.
Bring in new ideas (another literary device? A
problem you found? A scene you thought was
If you can, include a quote from the text that
you haven’t yet used.
I thought that this text was well written. The
story’s message is very important for the
intended audience, and it was delivered very
clearly. The author’s use of literary devices
was effective, and really helped the story to
come to life. Overall, I would recommend this
story, because the writing was strong, the
characters were interesting, and the message
is something we can all apply to our life.
Overall, I thought that this text was well-written. The overall
message of the story is that when people are doing their
favourite thing, they can overcome all the difficulties. It is an
important message for the intended audience, teenagers,
because it tells us never give up our favourite thing; if you want
to be a success, you have to pay a lot – do not expect to be a
success directly and without paying. Moreover, it’s well
developed in the text, because the story talks about how the
son practices first, and how he feels bored during the summer
without hockey, and then the game, how he spends all his
energy on the game. The text is logical and makes it easy for the
reader to understand. I agreed with some of the choices the
writer made, for instance the use of imagery, which made the
story lively and let the reader clearly know what’s going on. At
last, I really like this story – I liked the way of writing. In the text
the author never mentioned a name, which is very unique.
Again, the author described how the son treats his equipment
badly at the beginning, so I was thinking he doesn’t like the
game. To my surprise, he loves it. This is really interesting and
attractive. For these reasons, I think that this text is well written.
I thought the text was very well-written. Thaubergers message to
parents is that they must be supportive of their children, no matter
what they decide to do. It is well developed in the text by showing
the worn-down child. The father is very concerned, and fails to
understand his extreme love for the sport. However, he accepts that
this is what his son wants to do and respects him for that. It is an
important message for parents because they are often not this way.
Many already have plans for their children and are angry when their
children refuse. I agreed with some of the choices Thauberger
made. For example, the use of 2nd person narration made the story
much more relatable. It is very personal when the father asks
questions because it feels like he is answering us directly. It added
to the piece greatly because the message was exemplified. It is
easier to reflect upon our own life thanks to this perspective. I really
enjoyed the way the story was told. It really gave us a detailed view
of a child through the father’s eye. Although it was short, I really felt
connected to the boy, and the use of imagery made the story very

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