Wednesday, January 22, 2020

No Solutions Offered in There Are No Children Here :: There are No Children Here Essays

No Solutions Offered in There Are No Children Here  Ã‚  Ã‚      Does your home have a lock on your door, a telephone and working appliances and plumbing? Do you dodge bullets in your sleep, have 13 people living in one apartment or wash your dishes in the bathtub because the kitchen sink hasn’t worked for months? Do you wash your clothes in the bathtub because the laundry room is too dangerous to do your washing? Do you live in an environment with no role models, where the gangs control everything and you can’t trust anyone? You may think these are strange questions for people who live in America in the late 20th century, but some people’s answers to these questions may be very different from yours. Those people are the one’s living in the â€Å"other America†. Alex Kotlowitz tells us â€Å"the story of two boys growing up in the other America† in his book There Are No Children Here. The â€Å"other America† Kotlowitz describes in his book is the public housing complex at Henry Horner Homes in Chicago. By following the lives of two boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, we are exposed to the misfortunes, turmoil and death that their lives are filled with. Lafeyette and Pharoah are faced with many hardships in their day to day activities. Their apartment, the once beautiful complex, now has broken appliances, poor plumbing, horrible security and from the basement come smells that one housing manager described as â€Å"foul odors† that â€Å"no equipment presently in use by staff could be used to withstand the odor beyond a minute† (p. 240). The boys wake up every morning in this horrible public housing that would most likely be condemned if it was located in any decent neighborhood. Lafeyette and Pharoah get ready for school, usually putting on clothes which have been washed the night before in the bath tub, and then leave for school. Pharoah, who loves school, is always in a hurry to get there, leaving the apartment before anyone else. School is the one place for Pharoah to stand out and get away from the neighborhood for a while. He even attended a summer school program that was supported by the University of Illinois. Lafeyette, on the other hand, isn’t into school very much; which explains why he has such a large number of tardies. Both boys are always careful as they walk through the streets to school to be alert for gunfire, they don’t want to die young like so many friends of theirs.

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