“The Amigo Brothers,” written by Piri Thomas, is a story about a special friendship between two boys. Antonio and Felix, two seventeen year old boys, have grown up together and are very close to one another. They do almost everything together. They both dream of a future in which they will be the lightweight champions of the world, and together they help each other train regularly. Then a time comes when their friendship is threatened because for the first time ever, they have to compete against one another in a match. In the end, however, their relationship survives because both boys value their friendship above their ambitions. Through the words, thoughts, and actions of Antonio and Felix, the author expresses the theme that friendship is more important than a competition.
From the beginning of the story, the boys have a conversation that reveals the importance of their friendship. One day while they are training for the upcoming fight they will be having against one another, the boys avoid eye contact with one other. Felix breaks the ice by saying, ‘“I think we both got something to say to each other.”’ As they talk, they both admit that they have been having trouble sleeping at night because they are concerned about hurting one another. Their worries show that their relationship is important to them. If it weren’t, the upcoming fight would not weigh on their minds. Instead, their focus would only be on preparing for the fight in hopes of winning. The author clearly uses the boys’ words to exemplify the importance of friendship.
After talking, the boys decide not to see each other till the day of the fight, but neither can stop thinking about the other because each is worried about their friendship. The narrator says that “Both fighters had a lot of psyching up to do before the big fight.” This statement shows that the boys’ friendship is so powerful that in order to fight one another, they need to block out their feelings. On the evening before the fight, Antonio can’t stop thinking about how he does not want to hurt Felix. He tries to tell himself that “friendship has nothing to do with it,” but “a gnawing doubt [creeps] in.” He prays that the knock-out will happen in the first round thus, avoiding the need to continually punch and hurt Felix. Felix, too,
tries to block out his thoughts and feelings about Antonio, but while he is sitting in a movie theater, his thoughts are so much with Antonio that he keeps imagining Antonio’s face on the movie screen while he, Felix, is punching him out. Both boys are unable to stop thinking about protecting the other because their relationship is so important to them. Here, again Piri uses the boys to testify to the value of friendship.
Finally, the story’s theme is relayed through the final actions of the boys. During the fight, both are focused on winning the match. Each attacks the other with full force. The fight becomes so violent that the referee has to pull them apart. After cold water is poured on both of them, they start to come back to reality. When they realize what has happened to them, they rush toward each other and hug. Afterwards, the bell rings to announce the winner of the fight, but when the announcer looks around to identify the victor, no one is there. The boys leave the ring “arm in arm.” The reason they leave is that they realize that winning is not what is most important to them. What they really care about is their friendship. Piri finalizes his theme through the ultimate actions of the boys.
In conclusion, the boys’ choice to leave the boxing arena sums up the author’s point of view about friendship. Throughout the story, their stress and concern for their relationship is revealed through the conversations they have with each other, their thoughts that haunt them before the fight, and the choice they make at the end of the fight. By the closing of the story, there is no question that the author’s theme is about the importance of friendship.
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