There Are No Children Here

1745 words 7 pages
Alex Kotlowitz's book, There are No Children Here, is a story about two boys, Pharaoh and Lafeyette Rivers growing in the late 1980's in Henry Horner, a housing project in Chicago. The boys try to retain their youth while they see constant gang violence, death of close friends, their brother in jail and their dad struggling with a drug addiction. In Horner, there are two gangs that claim it as their turf, and the Rivers family is constantly ducking from shots of gunfire there. They live in an overcrowded apartment with leaky facets, heating problems and animal carcasses in the basement. The boys' mother, LaJoe, tries to keep them away from gangs and violence since her eldest children fell to the harsh reality of the neighborhood. …show more content…
If the government and the people worked together, more problems could be solved.
The family is the closest, most stable element in the boys life. LaJoe tries hard to make sure the boys are surrounded with positive influences so that they will grow up secure. This theory is based on the individual and the environment that the family lives in, we can see how LaJoe has tried to steer her family away from this environment. "There are many things you can do and get away with at Horner, because people, fearful that retaliation may spiral out of control, keep their anger and fury to themselves. But when it comes to family, particularly mothers, nothing, no one, is beyond revenge." (Kotlowitz 233). Since Horner is such a difficult place to live, residents have to take measures to insure that they protect their family. Terrance was lost to the neighborhood and LaJoe feared the worst, reminding the boys that they need to do well in school and not to become involved in what the other kids do in the neighborhood. This positive enforcement in the family helped the boys to segregate themselves from the chaotic world, even if that meant not having many friends, in order to stay alive.
On the other hand, there are many negative influences in the boy's home environment that impacts them as well. Besides their mother, they had little in-house role models because their dad was a drug addict and an alcoholic. He did find work from time


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