An Analysis of the Tough Guy Personalities of Rocky Balboa and James Braddock

Category: Balboa, Compensation, Salary
Last Updated: 28 Feb 2023
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In the movie Rocky, directed by John G. Avildsen and in the novel Cinderella Man, by Jeremy Schaap both of the protagonists Rocky Balboa and James Braddock are characterized as a couple of tough and rugged fighters. Throughout both viewings, Braddock and Rocky instill their "tough guy" personality. It is shown by the way they talk, act, and how other characters talk about them.

Rocky always had a word to say, and most of the time when he opened his mouth it was a mean comment. As a boxer, a huge part of the job is to have this kind of attitude. Collecting money owed for his boss as a side job aided this process right along. "Mr. Gazzo wants the 200 now!"(Rocky). In this scene, he prepares to use violence to collect the money owed from inocent individuals for just a small profit.

Braddock had the same mind as Rocky. Both with poor backgrounds, James was willing to do anything to save him some money. With bad hand problems, Braddock was forced to see a doctor in order to recover and move on. The only solution to the broken hand was to break and resettle it again and Braddock was very content doing the job himself for free. "If its got to be broken, why not bust it against some guys jaw and get paid for it?"(68). James had an efficient mind and used his toughness as an advantage.

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Another contributer to the tougness of the fighters was what the men actually did and how they reacted to different circumstances. One of Rocky's greatest accomplishments was his match against Apollo Creed as the underdog. Not one person expected him to go even three rounds, but he found the stength to go the distance which, no fighter has done. Andy said at the end of the fight, "The Rocks got real stones."(Rocky). Even other people started to realize the type of man he is in the ring as well as on the streets.

Braddock, on the other hand showed the resoltion and pride he had throughout his economic life along with the will to punish his opponents in the ring. During his career, the market crashed and the fighters who were not a champion or a top contender did not have the money to survive. With his hand problems, Braddock was on a decline in his career and was barely getting by. He refused for months to get relief or even ask for help. Finally with no other choice, Braddock dragged himself and his pride to the Garden to find Gould. "Still he could see in Braddock's face, a desperation that he had never seen there before."(163). After waiting as long as possible, James finally faced that he had to turn to somebody for help. Holding out for as long as he did shows the type of man he was and how tough the cinderella man could be living with minimal food, electricity, and heat.

The words that Rocky was described as from others are used as a factor to characterize him throughout the movie as well. Throughout his vigorous training regimine, Mickey said to him, "You'll gonna be able to eat lightin' and crap thunder- You'll be a very, very dangerous person."(Rocky). Seeing Rockey train and progress every day, Mickey knew the beast he was creating and brought out his potential for the big fight.

Braddock was known as a brawny fighter as well. At the beginning of the novel, the author describes him saying. "He could punch, he could take a punch, he could even box a little."(3). He might have been a little slow in the ring, but any spectator can not take away from his will to destroy any opponent in a fight.

All in all, both of these hard working fighters share a quality that a boxer is required to have. They are characterized as tenacious men, that would rather saw off their arm than lose to the opponent in the other corner. The way the fighters both speak to others, how they act around people, and the way friends and family describe them, are all different ways the author and narrorator go about characterizing them to make the movie and book unique.

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An Analysis of the Tough Guy Personalities of Rocky Balboa and James Braddock. (2023, Feb 22). Retrieved from

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