Themes and message

Racial divides

The main theme of the short story “May the Best Man Win” by Kit de Waal is racial divides.

Upon the arrival of the three white men in the pub where all the regular customers are non-white, the atmosphere becomes tense: “Nothing had stopped, exactly, but everything was half-speed and it had all become very quiet” (ll. 19-20). This suggests that everyone is wary and expectant, perhaps anticipating a conflict. 

The tension grows when Fitz challenges Eddie: “ ‘Hey man! You! You can’t just come in here! […] What you doing in here?’ ” (ll. 31-32). There is both anger and confusion in these questions, revealing that the arrival of the white men in the non-white space is seen as an intrusion on their territory and a threat. However, Eddie attempts to put a stop to Fitz’s aggressive attitude by buying him a drink. He also calls him “ ‘chief’’ ...

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