Keeping Our Youthfulness in No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

1459 WordsJun 16, 20186 Pages
There are No Children Here; by Alex Kotlowitz is a story about two brothers and their mother, Pharaoh, Lafayette and LaJoe Rivers and them growing up in the late 1980's in the (HHH) Henry Horner Homes, a housing project in Chicago. In the story the boys try to retain their youthfulness while they see constant gang violence, death of people close to them and their brother is in jail and their dad is struggling with drug addiction. In Horner, there are two gangs that claim it as their area, and the Rivers family is always hiding from all the shooting. The apartment they live in is so unkempt, and mostly too old. Their mother, LaJoe, does all she can to keep her children out of danger in the community. The children also have to watch out for…show more content…
"I Ain’t doing nothing, I could get killed, or if not get killed I might go to jail for something I didn't do. I could die any minute"(Kotlowitz 209). Lafayette was not able to be a normal child outside or inside the home. "In her husband's absence, Lafayette had become LaJoe's close companion. She relied on him. So did the younger children" (Kotlowitz 14). Lafayette took the responsibilities of being the man of the house, but these duties took a toll on Lafayette's personality in the home. While Lafayette was quiet around peers at home he was aggressive and often bullied and forced his siblings into helping out around the house. Kotlowitz conveys not only the hardships that Lafayette and Pharaoh face, but the effect of those hardships on the boys, as well. For example, after the two children dive under cover during a drive-by shooting, both are visibly affected. The younger brother, Pharaoh, laments, "I worry about dying, dying at a young age." The older brother, Lafayette, tells his mother, "Mama, I'm real tired. Anytime I go outside, I Ain’t guaranteed to come back" (Kotlowitz 157). Functionalism also known as functionalist perspective is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. Functionalism clarifies each part of society in terms of how it contributes and helps the balance of the society as a whole. Each part of society is functional for the

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