Character Analysis: 'Code of the Street' by Elijah Anderson

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Code of the Street Which one between John Turner and Robert Johnson will succeed? Why will either Turner or Johnson make it and the other not make it? John Turner John's life seemed to be one major drama after another; he didn't have a good male role model as a kid, and it seems he never was able to get on track. What was amazing about his life was the number of problems that he seemed to get into and how he wriggled out of them (with the help of a friendly person who just happened to meet him) only to run into more problems. John Turner apparently never really was of enough intellectual substance to figure out how to stay on the "straight and narrow" side of life. A young black man on probation who can't pay his fine is doomed to find more trouble and that was John Turner. A young black man who has sired four children with different women and can't seem to keep a job even though he gets help in finding work that was John Turner too. As the author writes on page 285, when the "two worlds collide the street prevailed"; the street and its "code" were too powerful for John to turn away from because he was always suspicious of the various jobs he had. "The conventional culture" is seen by young black men as "profoundly unreceptive" and John is the quintessential young black man whose culture is more about the streets than the world of conventional jobs and social respect. It is clear that John could not succeed in the modern world. Once brought up in the street culture

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