English 1 – Period 2
18 February 2011
Biography: Derek Jeter with Jack Curry – “The Life You Imagine”
Write about a conflict in your book (whether it is a novel or non-fiction). What is the conflict? What
characters or people are involved? Include textual support!
In “The Life You Imagine”, by Derek Jeter and Jack Curry, Derek describes his path to
becoming one of the greatest baseball players of all time and the obstacles he had to overcome to
get there. One of Derek’s main conflicts was overcoming racial diversity in a world full of
people who would judge him because of his parent’s skin color. His mother and father were the
two most important people in Derek’s life as a kid. His mother was white and his father was
black, which was not very common at the time. Derek writes, “I have strong memories of my
parents telling me as a child that I would encounter people in the world who weren’t fair. They
told me that I would meet people who wouldn’t like me and who would treat me unfairly
because my mother and father were not the same color” (Curry 84). Derek was only a kid when
his parents told him this and he could not wrap his mind around why people would treat him and
his family unfairly because his parents were different colors. Derek was not ashamed of his
parents or his skin color though and he writes, “I was and still am proud of who I am” (Curry
100). Derek Jeter was not going to let anyone stand his way of rising to the top, no matter what
the circumstances were.
B. Speculate about how the conflict will be resolved. What do YOU think will happen? Why?
Include textual support!
Derek Jeter has acted as a role model for me because I really admire his work ethic,
leadership, and the overall way he carries himself as a person on and off the baseball field.
Today he is one of the greatest baseball players alive, so he has clearly dealt with the conflict
very well. However, I do not think that there is any possible way to fully resolve the conflict.
Racism is a huge problem world-wide and there is no way to stop it. People judge others all the
time, it is a part of life. I think that Jeter will simply ignore the people who choose to judge him
because of his parent’s color and not let it bother him. Jeter writes in his book, “All my life I
have been judged, but I have never let it bother me” (Curry 106). This attitude has allowed Jeter
to reach the top, and I think that Jeter will continue to be the humble, modest, and strong-willed
person that helped him beat out adversity.