IB Language and Literature
12 January 2015 Literary Elements of Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder
“The house we lived in was three hundred years old. It had been built originally by part of the Royal family… It was a good place to have a gymnasium. The walls and the floor could take a punishment of heavy weight… My weight room was not heated, so naturally in cold weather it was freezing. I didn’t care. I trained without heat, even on the days when the temperature went below zero… Three nights a week I went to the gym in town. I either had to walk or ride my bike eight miles home after ten o’clock” (Schwarzenegger 20).
Setting: When Arnold Schwarzenegger became interested in bodybuilding, he faced the struggle of only being able to go to the gym three nights a week. On the days that he went to the gym, he was forced to travel back a lengthy eight miles. This setting forced Arnold to build his own gym in his house, which was often freezing. This shows the dedication that Arnold had, and the motivation he had to become the greatest bodybuilder in the world. His goals were clear, and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him on his path.
“I’ve retired from bodybuilding but I haven’t quit. I have only stopped competing. I would describe myself as sort of the leader of the bodybuilders. Many times I feel like I’m their mother” (Schwarzenegger 112).
Characterization: In this section of the biography, Arnold discusses how he feels like a leader among the world of bodybuilding, and how he continues to weight train, but ceases to compete. This shows Arnolds cockiness, and how he views himself as a boss among other bodybuilders. However, it also shows how Arnold was praised during his years as a competitor. After winning Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, and Mr. World, many bodybuilders see Arnold as the leader of bodybuilding. This affects his character, as he now sees himself above others, and that he should be praised for his endeavors.
“I needed to be there training for two hours in the morning and two hours at night, concentrating on nothing except perfecting my body and bringing it to its peak. Whatever I thought might hold me back, I avoided. I crossed girls off my list- except as tools for my sexual needs. I eliminated my parents too. I grew accustomed to hearing certain questions: ‘What’s wrong with you, Arnold? Don’t you feel anything? Don’t you have any emotions?” (Schwarzenegger 28).
Conflict: In this section of the book, Arnold discusses how he missed out on a major part of his life, due to his obsession with bodybuilding. Arnold cut out significant people and things in his life, like his family and girls, just to focus more on perfecting his own body. He also mentions how he only used girls for his “sexual needs”, showing how his life began to be self-centered, not caring about the needs of others. His own parents didn’t even recognize him anymore, as he became emotionless, and uninterested in anything that didn’t have to do with his body. His obsession with himself became very visible, creating internal and external conflict. His internal conflict was his addiction with his body and the need to perfect his body, while his external conflict was him versus the