Death: A Consequence of Being Cool
In "We Real Cool", Gwendolyn Brooks is describing the thoughts of seven high school dropouts that have gathered together at the Golden Shovel, a local pool hall. These teenagers boast about staying out late, dropping out of school, and committing sins. Each one of them is aware that death will ultimately be the outcome of their destructive lifestyles, but they are willing to accept their fate because they want to continue to be "cool." The language that is used in this poem explains the world and feelings of someone who does not value an educational environment. Lack of education and respect for self and others will have negative consequences and can lead to a person's death. The first line "we real cool, we left school" (1591) conveys the teenagers feelings about school. For them, school is not worth their time. Because life has much more better things to see and do, school will be a hinder them from having fun and accomplishing the plans that they have made. This belief is shared by many teenagers during their stage of rebelling against their parents and other authority figures. Their feeling is that life is too short to let the good things pass them by for a future they may or may not have down the road. The phrase "We Lurk Late" (1591) again represents how hanging out late with friends is more important than being at home studying for classes that are a waste of time. To the teens, spending their evenings and nights behind closed doors with books in their hands that they do not want to understand or pursue a future in is a waste of time. They believe hanging out late is more time to do whatever it is that they want to do. The phrase "We Strike Straight" is relating to the game of pool that they are playing and the choices that they make. Because they have chosen to play pool together, they believe that they have learned to play the game very well. In a larger context, these teens believe that...
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