The Challenge Of Survival In David Simon's Baltimore

Decent Essays

Baltimore’s pre-colonial inhabitants, the Powhatan tribes, lived a simple life; a life focused on the most basic aspects of survival. From the moment they were born, their sole purpose in life was to survive. They spent their days hunting, gathering, building communities, and protecting their families. Today’s Baltimore is much more dynamic, but one thing that both peoples have in common is the challenge of survival. The means of survival today are much different than they were in the past; survival is centered on acquiring money—the green piece of paper that drives one’s actions. Through the eyes of various work factions, creator David Simon, depicts Baltimoreans as a hard working people, who will do what is necessary to provide a life for …show more content…

Baltimore’s ports are faltering and the stevedores realize this; to keep up with the developments of the modern world, the stevedores take matters into their own hands. Frank Sobotka, the International Brotherhood of Stevedores union treasurer, resorts to alternate means of income to further the sustainability of the union as a last resort attempt to save his union from demise. Frank along with a handful of other stevedores work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with the international criminal organization known as “The Greeks”. Desperate times call for desperate measures and the stevedores are desperate. They are not committing these crimes out of greed, but out of survival. If they neglect to work with “The Greeks”, they will not survive and their union will collapse; resulting in the loss of jobs and income for struggling Baltimoreans. The stevedores represent the struggling middle class in their attempt to provide a life for themselves and their families. The stevedores can not survive without “The Greeks”, similarly, “The Greeks” can not survive without the …show more content…

One faction cannot survive without the other, thus their existence is defined by their collective survival. This collective survival is achieved through an elaborate crime syndicate and its counterparts—the police. The ways these factions survive are characterized by their work—meaning that each survival struggle is unique—and the basic human need to go on. Much like the Powhatan tribes centuries ago, people today are motivated to do the same thing; the very basic human need to survive in an inevitably dynamic world. The factions in season two of The Wire goes through this survival process and are presented with struggles that they must overcome—if they wish to

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