We all have a have different perspectives of something. In the book “There Are No Children Here”. Alex Kotlowitz emphasizes the phrase the “The other side of America. ” The author opposes to the stereotypes of families living in the projects, inner-city schools, and the drug dealers. In the beginning, Kotlowitz demonstrates the boys innocently playing around the train tracks. But when the hear the train coming, the children freeze, run away in fear or are in tears.
The children lays on the ground very still. One of them says “keep quiet. (6) The boys heard rumors that the commuters on the train has guns and will shoot. While the commuters heard the same rumors and avoid the windows. Even though, the suburban commuters are just trying to get to work. Kotlowitz illustrates that both groups considers that each one is a threat due to the ignorant fabrications. The mistaken conceptions they have with each other is the real enemy. We have preconceive notions of families living in the projects. We believe it’s the people that reside there is the reason why their environment is so atrocious.
But the residents are not truly the one to blame. The low income housing project was meant to be a positive “low-rent housing units nationwide and provide shelter for the less fortunate. ” (21) The alderman wanted to build houses for the poor. But the housing complexes was still constructed in a poor area, where there is no opportunity to prosper. Hypothetically, if you want to make a something on a optimistic note; you would want to build the housing somewhere that has potential and give the people hope and personal gain. But Horner was built cheaply which led to a slum.
There are cinder blocks to separate apartments. Even a group of Soviets that visited said “We would be thrown off our jobs in Moscow if we left unfinished walls like this. ” (22) Kotlowitz implies that it is not the faults of the poverty stricken people because of the poor area the state had no money to continue to make it better. Another general stereotype is the inner-city schools. We consider that the school is chaotic, that the teachers do not care for their students, and that is unsafe. But in reality, the school is harmonious. The principal does not allow hats or anything gang related.
Ms. Diagre is so strict. The teachers has to analyze about sending their students to her, because she has no tolerance for misbehavior. The teachers are very gentle. Ms. Barone would spend her own money to provide students with supplies and would let students borrow books. There are rules in the school to make things go smoothly. “The kids want orderliness. It gives them a sense of being in a environment that is safe and comfortable. ” (67) The kids would only go to the bathroom once, make one line to get somewhere, and can only throw something away when they are going out.
Kotlowitz tells us a different side of inner-city schools, the school is very organized and a safe haven for the children and not a deranged environment. Finally, one of the most judgmental subject about the projects is a drug dealer. One character comes to mind is named Terence Rivers. He becomes a drug dealer at the age eleven. We think that dope peddlers does not care for their family and is only looking out for only themselves. Terence is definitely an opposite. Every time he sees his little brothers, he would buy food or give them money. He loves his family and he is very close to his mother.
When he found out that someone robbed his father, he sent someone to give money to his mother. LaJoe opened an envelope and it was 500 dollars. Although, he was selling drugs. He deeply was devoted to his family and made sure they are sustainable. Therefore, the idea notion of a drug dealer that they have no family values is completely wrong. The author shows us many different perspectives. The misconception and opinions we all have of something or someone. So I leave you with a cliche “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” because there can be a different side to the story.
January 9, 2018
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