A Reason to Hope in There Are No Children Here

1155 Words3 Pages

There Are No Children Here - A Reason to Hope

The West side of Chicago, Harlem, Watts, Roxbury, and Detroit. What do all of these areas have in common? These areas, along with many others have become mine fields for the explosive issues of race, values, and community responsibility, led by the plight of the urban underclass. Issues such as violent crime, social separation, welfare dependence, drug wars, and unemployment all play a major role in the plight of American inner-city life. Alex Kotlowitz's book: There Are No Children Here, confronts America's devastated urban life; a most painful issue in America. Kotlowitz traces the lives of two black boys; 10 year old LaFayette, and 7 year old Pharoah, as they struggle to beat the odds growing up in one of Chicago's worst housing projects. Their family includes a welfare dependent mother, an alcholic-drug using father, an older sister, an older brother, and younger triplets. Kotlowoitz describes the horrors of an ill-maintained housing project completely taken over by gangs, where murders and shootings are an everyday thing. Kotlowitz does a fine job at portraying ghetto life; those who are outside the American dream. He succeeds at putting a face on th people trapped inside the housing projects with virtually no hope of escape. One can truly feel a sense of great loss for the family, and a great deal of hope for the two young boys. You can truly feel yourself hoping that things will work out for them, and you can really feel like you know these young men on a personal basis. Kotlowotz spent a great deal of time with the boys so he could portray the world from the eyes of a child growing up in the ghetto, and he does an amazing job.

All through their lives Pharoah and LaFayette are surrounded by violence and poverty. Their neighborhood had no banks, no public libraries no movie theatres, no skating rinks or bowling allies. Drug abuse was so rampant that the drug lords literally kept shop in an abondoned building in the progjects, and shooting was everywhere. Also, there were no drug rehabilitation programs or centers to help combat the problem. Police feared going into the ghetto out of a fear for their own safety. The book follows Pharoah and LaFayette over a two year period in which they struggle with school, attempt to resist the lure of gangs, mourn the death of close friends, and still find the courage to search for a quiet inner peace, that most people take for granted.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how alex kotlowitz's book, there are no children here, confronts the plight of the urban underclass.
  • Analyzes how kotlowitz protrays what life is like at the bottom, and the little hope there is for the poor, making it virtually impossible for young lives in the ghetto to grow up.
Show More
Open Document