All Souls Essay
In the memoir All Souls, by Michael Patrick MacDonald, one significant event that takes place were the busing movements, along with the riots that followed. During the 70s, when Michael was very young and in grade school, the Boston busing crisis began. The Boston government began busing kids to schools in different neighborhoods, in an attempt to desegregate schools. This caused mass outrage in many areas, especially Southie.
Outside of Southie and the projects, society expected people accept these changes and to accept the desegregation. But in Michael’s community, everybody was against this, and took violent actions against it. By both his family and his community, Michael was expected to be against the busing movements. As it would turn out, Michael was also against it. He went as far as to throw rocks at the buses coming into his town. He described it as shameful if you did not partake at least a little bit in the violent acts.
This example of the busing is a great example of how one’s mind is influenced by others. Here, Michael can be influenced by one of two sides; larger “outside” society telling him to accept the busing, or his family and small community telling him to deny it. I feel as if no matter who or what, one is much more influenced by the ones closest to them, whether it be a close family or a close community. Michael describes in the book that at many points, it feels like it’s Southie vs. the World. And no matter what, as another member of the Southie community, Michael will side with his home.
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