In fact Warren Mashall's admissions have a phenomenal effect on the reader. It's mostly because of him that the reader initially develops a soft corner for Justin. It is rather interesting to note that in a father-son relationship the odds are in Justin's favor which is contrary to normal depiction of family life these days.
Kevin Phillips, the lawyer, on the other hand has to jog down memory lane to recollect a character sketch and case history of Justin. His positioning of Justin is of a wannabe alpha male, a man who is willing to knock down some one because he suspects that they hurled abuse about his girlfriend. But Kevin does seem to generalize the case and his assessment of Justin is rather generic. To him Justin is just another case and according to him brawls like this do happen among young drunken men with raging hormones, especially when they happen to be rugby players. Thus even a cursory reading of Kevin's account of the case reveals some inconsistencies with the rest of the narrative. Justin confesses that he is not sure if Mathias ever did say anything to provoke him. In Justin's own words it could have been any one of the bystanders who could have chipped in. But on the contrary Kevin states it for fact that Justin was provoked which resulted in the ensuing brawl. The reader naturally doesn't fully agree with Kevin's positioning of Justin because there is some room for doubt and the narrative that follows supports this view.
Both the positionings are contrary to each other but are not worlds apart. The lawyer tends to generalize because for him this is everyday business. His assessment is based more on the crime and its legal implications and not so much on the client himself. Whereas the father gives a much better insight on the issue and is undoubtedly a much better source of judgment.
Positioning the Self
The self position in this excerpt is of a man who is at the ends of his nerves and who is simply fed up with the sort of attitude that people are giving him because of his career decision. By the end of the extract, in his own words, Justin snaps at this guy because he has had enough of the wisecracks. But on a parallel plane he is also remorseful of what he did because the guy he hit might not have said anything at all. So to sum it up Justin's self positioning is that of a man who is fed up and pretty much on the brink.
The self positioning in this part of the narrative is of a lot more toned down person, a person who is in remorse and regret over what he did. His character has shifted to a much more open person and a man changed by his circumstances and experience; the experience being a serious threat of spending significant time in jail. But apart from all this he is a true sportsman because he now respects the man he hit. This is mainly because he now believes that he may have wrongfully hit Mathias. Kevin respects Mathias for not destroying his career because at that time of the incident Mathias was in a position to do so.
Thus the shift in self positioning is evident from a person looking for trouble to a person who regrets having done what he did. It is remarkable to see how the narrative plays with Justin's character and the phenomenal shift in his self perception is pretty much evident to the