The Baddest Dog in Harlem

Good Essays
You’ll have to be tough to live in your American skin

When we go to school or to our jobs we don’t have many worries. The worries we could have could be “Oh no, there’s a test today” or “Oh no, my boss wants me to do some paperwork” but what if we had to live in fear instead of worries? If in the morning we should fear to go to school or job because of the place we are living in, that we had to say properly goodbye to your family every day, what would that do to us?

”The Baddest Dog in Harlem” is writen by Walter Dean Myers and it is a fictional short story. The short story takes place in Harlem, at 145th street[1]. It could be in a year not far from the present, because of the technology used in the short story, such as cars[2] and
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The song “American Skin (41 shots)” by Bruce Springsteen also gives a good perspective of how it is in America. He sings “No secret my friend, you can get killed just for living in, your American Skin[9]” The similarities in the two texts is the theme. They are both trying to show how the world is every day for some people in America and to have an influence on us, make us think about those who aren’t as fortunate as we are and how we should appreciate our way of living.

I really think the short story and the song as well gives you something to think about. I believe the environment the narrator lives in makes him tough. When you’re living in a ghetto or an environment which is rough, you’ll have to be tough even though you on the inside is falling apart. And I think that’s what the narrator goes through. They are used to guns and crime, therefore are they not so afraid of the police and the situation and also the kids have it like this. But when the narrator sees the boy, he doesn’t want to speak about it. It’s sad and it seems like this happens too often and this are the moments were the environment have made you tough.

[1] ”The Baddest Dog in Harlem” pp. 18, line 10.
[2] ”The Baddest Dog in Harlem” pp. 16, line 27.
[3] ”The Baddest Dog in Harlem” pp. 19, line 29.
[4] ”The baddest Dog in Harlem” pp. 15, line 30.
[5] ”The Baddest Dog in Harlem” pp. 18, line 14.
[6] “The Baddest Dog in Harlem” pp. 15, line 5.
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