Christopher D. Parrott Sc Wk 712
Reaction Paper I
Life in The Corner is a very stark and hopeless reality. With the writing style of
Tennessee Williams, David Simon and Edward Burns tell the graphic portrayal of life
basically on the streets. In doing so, they open your eyes to the conflicts that people there
consider commonplace but the rest of the world outside their isolated existence would
consider a war zone without war ever having been officially declared.
The issues at stake here are that the main characters involved in this are somewhat
of a family and I refer to the as such because they coexist in a way that people in a
“nuclear” setting do not. DeAndre’s parents do not live together and he bounces back and
forth between one home and the other because he cannot trust either of them not steal his
stash or his money that he earns from selling drugs. Both of his parents are hard-core
drug addicts which is another commonplace thing there that is accepted among the
members of The Corner. In urban America we have drug use, alcoholism and many other
deviant things but people are not accepting of them or pretend not to be.
In the winter of this story sometimes the snow will cover up the trash and make it
almost look beautiful in esoteric way. This could be almost a simile for the way a lot of
the people in this story end-up drug addicts slaves to their needs and cover it up at first.
But the track marks make it impossible after a while. The premature aging that is caused
by continuous drug use and hard living is very hard to hide even with the best cosmetics.
This can also be true of how bad parenting is also hard to hide when your
children are left to raise themselves with no morals, no love and nothing else that other
children would expect. This would include a childhood. Children in these situations lack
the inhibitions that an adult might have about shooting someone or beating someone to
death. Also, children who see their parents dealing or using drugs are going to
see that as an acceptable way of life. Parents, for instance cannot say, “don’t sell drugs.
Don’t take drugs. They are bad for you”. When these same role models are selling and
using and stealing to get them.
Fran is particularly conflicted. She has two sons and is bound by a moral code of
some sort to make sure that her kids are provided for. She also, for instance wants
DeAndre to get into trouble for his drug distribution and other illegal activities because in
some way she thinks that it will take someone else to save him. Unfortunately, she
expects someone else to do the job she is incapable of. Since he doesn’t ever
listen to her and his father figure is useless or ineffectual as a parent.
DeAndre is not past saving at the age of fifteen in our world. But on The Corner
he is a man in a lot of people’s eyes, especially in his own. By saying this I mean that he
is becoming set in is ways. The more exposed he is to that lifestyle the more he is
entrenched in what he knows. He could be more but, then again he really lacks the
opportunity and the support.
Gary, DeAndre’s father is trying to stop being a slave to “the snake” as he calls it.
But whenever he thinks that “okay today I’ll quit using and be a better parent and
person.” He never can get past that first day. His parents have always been very hard
working people and have never understood why their neighborhood has turned into a war
zone. Also, they have never understood why most of their children, although they have
the education that their parents lack they still have fallen into the lifestyles that they have.
So despite their sadness and regrets of what their lives have become. They are lacking
the education and the motivation to move on. They are as trapped as the rest
of them although their addiction is not that of drug use it is of poverty.