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Lance Armstrong

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:13 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.6 
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Question: Non-fiction texts allow you to examine significant ideas and themes in our society. Discuss the importance of how one or more ideas/themes have been made evident to you through the texts you have studied.

Life is one big struggle for us all, but we learn from our mistakes and move on, to ultimately achieve a desired goal. It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong, tells the tale of one man’s struggle through cancer, and although all odds were stacked against him, he managed to succeed beyond all doubt and win the Tour de France three times. Whilst teaching us about our own capacity to achieve greatness, this non-fiction text examines the theme of bravery through the retrospective point of view, language and structure.

Throughout the autobiography, we are immediately made aware of the bravery that Armstrong has as he tells his story, first hand, of his cancer battle and Tour de France wins. By using a retrospective viewpoint, we see the hardships that Armstrong faced leading up to his Tour de France triumph. We are taken on the journey with Armstrong as he explains how hard his life was and how, although he had a very slim chance of overcoming his cancer, he maintained a brave outlook and managed to push through his chemo treatments, which he describes as, ‘a destroying river of pollutants.’ Although we ourselves may not have experiences the horrors of chemotherapy, we are still able to treat it as a metaphor for our own lives in which we were brave in order to succeed.

The language used in It’s Not About the Bike is very inviting for the reader as we are able to relate, on a more personal level, to the struggles faced in the text. By personifying Armstrong’s cancer as ‘the bastard’ we immediately are positioned to see that the cancer was some form of opponent, an obstacle, which he had to defeat to continue living his life. Another non-fiction text, Touhing the Void, by Smithson and Mcdonald, also depicts the...


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