Publication Year



Literature, sports, athletics, writing, society, heroism


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | Fiction | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sports Studies


I chose "Sports in Literature" because A) I am interested in sports, B) I am interested in literature, C) I believe such a project has never been done before, so D) I decided I would. My paper covers some of the aspects of sporting life that seem common to my six major works: The pursuit of prizes; the chauvinism of sport; the possibility that sport is becoming larger than life itself, and the probability that individuals are becoming greater than the sports they play. In addition, I have included my own thoughts on the contemporary sports scene.

Among the conclusions arrived at, either stated or implied, are the belief that sports, while good for health purposes, do not necessarily build any character, as has been the claim for so long; that sport so often contains some of the same aspects to be found in society, and therefore is a mirror of society; that women, who previously played a peripheral role in sports, are now coming to share the center of the stage with men; that sports do not necessarily teach morality, though they can attempt to instill a sense of discipline in the participants; and that sport, so often, serves as a political forum for a particular cause.

A general context for the individual athlete in Ancient literature is that he is fighting his battles basically alone. In Medieval literature, the hero has some kind of help nearby; and in the Modern context, the individual is a superstar who has a team around him to support him in case he should falter.

I hope you enjoy this exam as much as I enjoyed writing the paper; I also hope that you learn something, not only about sports and literature, but about yourselves as well.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

English: Literature and Writing