The Other Side Of The River By Alex Kotlowitz

Satisfactory Essays

Tiefenbach 1
Benjamin Tiefenbach
Professor Ned Watts
IAH 207
17 March 2015
Twin Cities, Twin Races Reading the book, The Other Side of the River, by Alex Kotlowitz, the author writes about the relationship between two towns in Michigan, and the death of a young boy named Eric McGinnis. The two towns, Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, are called the “Twin Cities”, but are ironically not related in any way. St. Joseph is 95 percent white, while Benton Harbor is impoverished and is 92 percent black. Throughout the book Kotlowitz questions the residents from both towns and how they are affected by the environment around them. The author also starts with the climax on the first page of the book – the death of Eric, and uses this as an technique to tell the story of the disagreements between the two towns. With the murder of Eric, Kotlowitz identifies the climax at the beginning of the book and how it has been affecting the two towns which are physically only two and a half miles apart, and the river that flows between them only being a quarter of a mile wide. St. Joseph is a rich area while Benton Harbor is in poverty. This is relevant to the state of Michigan because many bodies of people migrate to certain regions of the state and are easily divided by different cultures and beliefs. Even with a small river providing the gap between these two regions, Michigan is known for its divided groups of people. With this division, the death of Eric with his drowning in the river resided

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