Characterization of Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi is the author of the excerpt text “Open”, in which he uses the perspective of his younger self to narrate the events. Consequently, in this part of the study guide, we will focus on eight-year-old Andre, who presents the events.

Andre is the child of an Iranian father who is a boxer, and he was born and raised in the US. Even if he is only eight years old, he is already playing tennis (probably pushed by his father to follow this sport).

As a child, Andre dislikes his grandmother because the Iranian woman “bosses” (l. 31) him and his siblings around and she constantly nags his father. This is why he would be more than happy if she would go back to Iran (ll. 26-28).

However, he does appreciate his grandmother’s stories about his father, because, like any child, Andre is fascinated with stories about the past: “Of course, there is one good thing about grandmother living with us. She tells stories about my father, about his childhood…” (ll. 39-42)

Contrary to expectation, Andre doesn’t have positive associations either with his home or the game of tennis. He doesn’t understand the idea of being homesick because, for him, home isn’t a positive place: “Home is where the dragon lives. Home is the place where, when you go there you have to play tennis.” (ll. 23-25).

He is also bothered by the pressure his father puts on his practice and by the man’s expectations: “… and my son will win a gold medal and that will make up for it. A little extra pressure to go with my everyday pressure.” (ll. 120-123); “She should tell him to back off, ease up, that tennis isn’t life.” (293-294)...

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