Beyond a Boundary

Essay by nmoser9College, UndergraduateB-, October 2014

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Moser 5

Nick Moser

History 202


Discuss the importance of cricket to C.L.R. James as a young man. What did cricket symbolize? How did this change as he aged?

Like many children all over the world today, sports play a major role in children's lives and have the ability to greatly shape and influence the outlook and behaviors for them later on in life. This is true for author C.L.R. James, writer of "Beyond a Boundary", however it was more than just a playful activity James like to do as a kid. It all started from the window in his house that was positioned perfectly behind the wicket of the recreation grounds, in which he would appallingly observe the older boys and men every afternoon during cricket practice and matches. This not only started his passion for the game, but intensified it. If he wasn't inside watching cricket, he was outside playing it and trying to get better.

The opportunities the sport gave to him were priceless. As a young man he made different friends and peers, developed a personality and behaviors, gained values and perception, as well as a wide variety of other ideas and openings, that all derived from the sport and his involvement of cricket. Under cricket's influence, James gained a sense of moral code, a code that which he long retained. This becomes apparent in his book when James writes, "'I never cheated, I never appealed for a decision unless I thought the batsman was out, I never argued with the umpire, I never jeered at a defeated opponent, I never gave to a friend a vote or a place which by any stretch of imagination could be seen as belonging to an enemy or to a stranger." (James, 26). He just simply goes...