Here we discuss the main themes found in the short story “The Hockey Sweater” by Roch Carrier. They are the following:
Passion for sport
Probably the dominant theme in the short story is the boys’ passion for sport. Both the protagonist and his teammates are clearly passionate about hockey. They admire Maurice Richard, a Montreal Canadiens player, whom they try to copy both in looks and in tactics. Their passion for sport is so big that they disregard every other aspect related to their daily life; they even ignore school or going to church, places that they see as a punishment:
“Parents always want to punish children and school is their most natural way of punishing us. However, school was also a quiet place where we could prepare for the next hockey game, lay out our next strategies. As for church, we found there the tranquillity of God: there we forgot school and dreamed about the next hockey game.” (p. 276, ll. 6-12)
Pride and rivalry
A great deal of the short story focuses on the rivalry between the two main hockey teams in Canada: the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. In your textbook (p. 279), you can find a short history of the two teams. They have been rivals for ...