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Analysis Of Pam Noles's 'Whipping Boy'

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Pam Noles’s Whipping Boy is no stranger to the life in the inner-city. Dexter, a young man with an extraordinary gift, pushes the crack cocaine and methamphetamine through the streets of Citrus Groves while struggling to repress his whipping boy role. Granted with the power to cleanse one of their sorrows, Dexter vigorously rejects his whipping-boy role much to his Aunt June’s dismay, who entices him to become all that he can be. He focuses on the drug business and establishing a love with with Tamika, a woman who too was “born and raised in Citrus Groves.” The story offers a perspective on the realities of inescapable responsibilities as well as the state of the Black community. Dexter’s responsibility is nothing political or hierarchal; in…show more content…
The aforementioned is not always easy to do, as interests and beliefs are constantly nourished with new information. It becomes easier to follow the behavior of a popular music artist if exposure derives from friends in a group or growing personal interests. Drugs are prominent in poor Black communities, but gangs are equally dangerous for young Americans. Territorial obsession and superficial pride will warp the mindset of young Black Americans in neighborhoods like Citrus Grove, and sometimes it becomes too late for them to realize what’s important. Although Dexter’s specialty is not the best, Pam Noles uses him to show both the consequences of apathy and exhibiting a flawed mindset. As with false idols, Dexter’s lust for Tamika and projection onto her of everything he wants shrouds his thoughts as he “couldn’t imagine her ever forgetting him”. What is saddest about Dexter and Tamika’s relationship is the underlying truth she refuses to share. When “the last bits of him [flowed] from every part of her”, Dexter’s emotions exploded with rage, frustration, and depression. Even when Tamika prizes keeping her friendship with Peek and attempts to swoon a player, Tamika is disparaged for her erotic behavior by her friend. Crowning the wrong people leads only to disappointment in the end. Acting this way induces confusion. Revering the wrong individual can damage one’s decision-making capabilities. You can lose sight of who you are and what you believe in by performing for other’s benefit and not your
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