There Are No Children Here Essay examples

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Alex Kotlowitz's book, There are No Children Here, is a story about two boys, Pharaoh and Lafeyette Rivers growing in the late 1980's in Henry Horner, a housing project in Chicago. The boys try to retain their youth while they see constant gang violence, death of close friends, their brother in jail and their dad struggling with a drug addiction. In Horner, there are two gangs that claim it as their turf, and the Rivers family is constantly ducking from shots of gunfire there. They live in an overcrowded apartment with leaky facets, heating problems and animal carcasses in the basement. The boys' mother, LaJoe, tries to keep them away from gangs and violence since her eldest children fell to the harsh reality of the neighborhood.…show more content…
According to this theory, external forces can influence the development of emotions. A child can mature a lot quicker when they are placed in an environment where they have to take care of themselves to survive. "When tragedy struck, Pharaoh didn't want to know. He continued to tell his mother he was too young to comprehend it all, as if he were trying to prolong his childhood" (Kotlowitz 216). Both boys did recognized at an early age that death occurs frequently in their neighborhood. They had several friends die and they were reminded of this every time gunfire went off outside the apartment. Pharaoh tried to maintain his childhood the best he could and excelled in school as a coping mechanism. Lafeyette, at thirteen, acted as a parent to fill his mother's role when she was out. The government makes one of the biggest contributions to the welfare of the family by providing financial safety. The problem is that the government fails to show any concern for these families unless it is brought to their attention, and even then nothing is changed. The lack of interest by the housing authorities leads to the neglect of Horner for over fifteen years. "The rotting carcasses explained the putrid odor rising from the Riverses' toilet. It wasn't aborted fetuses, as LaJoe had though. It was dead animals, the stench of rotting flesh

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