Essay on Frank Conroy's Stop-Time

1400 Words6 Pages
As a young boy, Frank has not yet learned much about life. He is naïve and inexperienced. His child-like innocence allows him to take a simple joy, such as learning a yo-yo trick, and make it the center of his life. He spends countless hours, working hard to master his skills, training for a competition he is so set on winning, only to be let down painfully. Frank’s learning experience is intricately expressed through Conroy’s writing in a way that audiences personally connect to and are able to understand Frank’s emotions at the moment; it is as if the reader is enlightened alongside him. His emotions and realizations about life at that moment are revealed in Frank Conroy’s Stop-time, where a single passage accurately describes the magnitude of his disappointing loss with text filled with hidden meanings and subtle revelations; in a single moment, Frank accepts his loss and realizes something far more valuable: winning or losing does not represent the person you are. Frank’s moment of defeat is explored quickly and with great emotion. His moment of disbelief and shock is described with an intentionally elongated sentence that allows the reader to delve into Frank’s mind at the moment of his failure: “So when the final contest arrived and I learned that after one or two extremely easy tricks the choice of champion would be based on the greatest number of consecutive Loop-the-Loops, when I learned that my skill counted for nothing in the eyes of the non-yo-yoing judges, when I found myself screwed once again as my string broke at seventy-three (eleven less than a muscle-bound idiot from the beach who couldn’t do a simple Cannonball)—when, to wrap it up, all this reality was finally absorbed by my brain, the knowledge that I was without question the best yo-yo player around kept me from despair” (129). Conroy uses the repetition of “when I” (129) multiple times

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