Taking Sides Essay Fonseca, Ricardo English Period 5 October 3, 2012 In the story “Taking Sides” by Gary Soto, Lincoln Mendoza, the main character, faces many conflicts that you may think that they won’t affect him but when these problems become a major role, the result of them cause him to act differently. Lincoln deals with these problems in different ways. He tries to resolve them by talking to the people he has problems with. Another thing he does is that he tries to avoid the problem.
I will give two examples of the kind of problems Lincoln Mendoza deals with. One of the first problems Lincoln is faced with is Roy, his mother’s boyfriend. This problem affects Lincoln in many ways; one way this problem affects him is by taking time away from Lincoln and his mother. Lincoln already has little time to spend with his own mother, and the little time they have with each other is being used by his mother to date Roy. Lincoln doesn’t like this because his mother can never go to his games and she is always busy with work.
Roy was shorter than his mother, pudgy and pale, and drove a baby blue BMW, which Lincoln thought was a girl’s color. Roy always flinches when Lincoln’s dog, Flaco, barks. He doesn’t like it when his mother dates men who flinch when the dog barks. Lincoln had a conversation with Roy and it was about basketball. He had no idea that Roy played basketball when he was his age, but Lincoln learned that when Roy told him about the game when Franklin played against Columbus.
Roy told him about how his coach Yesutis cried when a player from Franklin punched him in the face. This is when Lincoln found out why his coach hated Franklin so much. Eventually the conflict of his mother using her time with Lincoln to date Roy was resolved by Lincoln getting along with Roy. They became friends because they had some similarities because of basketball. This changed Lincoln because before he disliked Roy for taking time away from Lincoln and his mother but now he likes him. Another problem in the story was his coach Yesutis.
The coach is always too hard on him. He never gives Lincoln a break even though he is like the star player. When Lincoln is hurt, his coach still makes him practice or play. For example, Lincoln hurt his toe and he complained to his coach but the coach made him practice through it, he told him to toughen up. Lincoln talked with his friend James about coach always being too hard on him and James said that coach could be weird at times. Lincoln hates his coach for this and thinks that he shouldn’t be on their backs all the time.
James had told Lincoln that coach Yesutis is just making them stronger, but Lincoln said that you can’t coach by calling them names, and he said that sometimes he doesn’t even know I’d the coach knows what he is doing half of the times. Lincoln also says that his coach’s plays are stupid, and watch when they play a black team. Another example of his coach being too hard on Lincoln was when Lincoln had hurt his knee when he was playing basketball in the rain with Monica and she jumped up and hit him under his chin, which caused him to fall to the floor and bang up his knee.
His knee was swollen for days and it was as purple as an onion. His coach put him as someone’s back up because he kept complaining about his knee, but he still made Lincoln play through it and didn’t give him a break. What Lincoln learns from this is that he can be tough and play through these injuries, but he also learns how idiotic his coach can be. In this story Lincoln faced many conflicts and resolved them on his own. These problems changed him in a few different ways but mostly they changed him emotionally and the way he thinks. He learned a few things about his coach and also more things about himself and his friends.