Essay on All Souls by Michael MacDonald

Essay on All Souls by Michael MacDonald

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Michael MacDonald’S All Souls is a heart wrenching insider account of growing up in Old Country housing projects located in the south of Boston, also known as Southie to the locals. The memoir takes the reader deep inside the world of Southie through the eyes of MacDonald. MacDonald was one of 11 children to grow up and deal with the many tribulations of Southie, Boston. Southie is characterized by high levels of crime, racism, and violence; all things that fall under the category of social problem. Social problems can be defined as “societal induced conditions that harms any segment of the population. Social problems are also related to acts and conditions that violate the norms and values found in society” (Long). The social problems that are present in Southie are the very reasons why the living conditions are so bad as well as why Southie is considered one of the poorest towns in Boston. Macdonald’s along with his family have to overcome the presence of crime, racism, and violence in order to survive in the town they consider the best place in the world.
Crime can be defined as “an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law; especially: a gross violation of law” (Merriam Webster). In simpler terms, any act of breaking the law is committing a crime. Southie, Boston is full of crime as crime is the most prevalent social problem found in the town. Crime is the biggest contributor to the overall poor conditions of the neighborhood. The majority of the crimes committed in Southie are in the form of drugs. The leader of the drug trade of Southie during this time was a man named James Whitey Bulger. The ...


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...r of a family who grew up in a town where crime, racism, and violence flourished. The social problems that were present in Southie, Boston all could have been minimized if only the parents had led their children down the right path. Parents could have warned their children of the horrors associated with any associations to the drug trade, discouraged them from discrimination against people of different races, and reporting the violence that occurred in their neighborhood instead of remaining silent in the hopes of upholding some kind of Southie loyalty code/ “Southie code of silence” (MacDonald 8). Instead parents did not teach their children about the dangers of the drug trade; they encouraged racial discrimination, and remained quiet in the face of violence. All of those things contributed to the poor living conditions and bad reputation of South “Southie” Boston.

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