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Moocher Case

Essay by   •  February 12, 2013  •  Essay  •  421 Words (2 Pages)  •  536 Views

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Moocher are along for the ride. Each of them has, or had, dreams but somehow the stony weight of their hometown has crushed their adolescent hope of ridding their "cutter" lifestyle. Being a cutter refers to the lower class that cut all the limestone that Indiana University uses to construct buildings.

The crazy thing is that Dave is a talented bike-rider, easily able to win races when he applies himself. Sporadic training is a part of his day but mostly he fantasizes about joining the Italian elite, as represented by the Cinzano team who are visiting Bloomington for a big local race. Mike and Cyril were also athletically adept at one time but they've slipped even further, consigning their prowess to history. Moocher, meanwhile, is just touchy about his diminutive height. As the day of the Cinzano 100 approaches, Dave actually puts some miles in (at one point competitively drafting off of a Cinzano truck). He even assumes so many Italian mannerisms that he manages to pick up Katherine (Robyn Douglass), a college girl. Since the locals are disparagingly referred to as "Cutters" by the student body, and looked down upon, this is quite the catch for Dave.

The interaction between the rich students and relatively poorer towns-people is very important, since that determines how folks feel about college generally. Locals, like Mr.Stohler, are content to rip off students as long as they treat the inhabitants disgracefully. On yet another level, the closing of limestone quarries many years ago has a direct impact on lives today, since Mr.Stohler now sells used cars while Moocher's dad has left for Chicago to find work (they were both stone-cutters before). I found this intriguing because the quarry where the limestone was cut had turned into a swimming hole, and was the main hangout for Dave and his crew. Intentionally or not, it foreshadowing the overcoming of being a cutter.

Simply put, Breaking Away understands working-class characters and refuses to patronize them. Their concerns and the situations within which they find themselves are handled accurately. The underlying story is straightforward, yet a lot of excitement is generated even though the outcome is predetermined. For some reason the shadow of tragedy looms within the personalities of each of the four main characters. Fortunately, all of these elements mesh smoothly to create something both amusing and affecting, yet never too sentimental. There



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