The Disappeared By Charles Baxter

1547 Words7 Pages
Violence and crime have a large influence on the short story, “The Disappeared” by Charles Baxter. Throughout the story Anders, the protagonist, is often affected by the crime in Detroit. He is unaware to how dangerous the city is because of his short time spent he has spent in the United States. “The Disappeared” does well in reflecting what Detroit was like in 1990, specifically in terms of violence and crime. The short story is shaped by how Anders and the other characters are affected by the violence and crime in the city. Acts of crime and violence were common in Detroit when “The Disappeared” takes place. The city of Detroit was in distress in 1990 and the years leading up to 1990. Members of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found, “75 percent of the population in Detroit lived in tracts with poverty rates of 20 percent or higher in 1990” (Neal and Bunce 129). (p129). With poverty comes crime. Crime is committed by those living below the poverty line as Raymond J. Michalowsk discusses, “Approximately 40% of all those imprisoned in the United States were either unemployed or employed only part time when arrested, and nearly two thirds had incomes below poverty level” (qtd. in Michalowsk 16-17). Crime and violence was present in Detroit and it is represented well in the story. In Baxter’s short story there are many instances where crime clearly influences “The Disappeared”. The first notion of crime in “The Disappeared” lies within the
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