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A Man in Full Genesis 32:22-31

A Man in Full

Jacob starts out as a testosterone terrorist, but a brawl with a stranger bends him out of shape and twists him, for the first time, into a Man in Full.

Charlie Croker was proud of his entire physique: his massive neck, his broad shoulders, his prodigious forearms ... but above all, he was proud of his back. His employees called him Cap'm Charlie, after a legendary fishing-boat captain from a hundred years ago with the same name, a sort of Pecos Bill figure with curly blond hair who had accomplished daring feats of strength.

There was a song about him, which some of the old folks knew by heart. It went: "Charlie Croker was a man in full. He had a back like a Jersey bull .... Charlie Croker! Charlie Croker! Charlie Croker!"

Whether or not there had actually existed such a figure, Charlie had never been able to find out. But he loved the idea, and he often said to himself what he was saying to himself at this moment: "Yes, I got a back like a Jersey bull!" (Tom Wolfe, A Man in Full [New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1998], 6).

Charlie Croker, the hero of Tom Wolfe's best-selling novel, appears at first glance to be "a man in full."...

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