the street essay ap lit
Lutie’s interactions with the wind indirectly characterize her as determined and resilient, showing how she adapts to life in an urban setting. Somehow even at this distance his squat figure managed to dominate the whole room” (146).

Lutie’s qualities are emphasized when her character is juxtaposed with the pedestrians, who lack her physical and mental fortitude as they “[curse] deep in their throats” and “[stamp] their feet” (37-38) when the wind harasses them. 85 0 obj <> endobj In being a constant witness to his family’s abject poverty, Bub is left facing a problem he neither understands, nor has any capacity to solve. However, the constant threat of masculine sexual assault and power, aided by the use of objects, reduces these expansions and imprisons Lutie, who is unwilling to capitalize on her only object of value‹her own body. The various cramped spaces she occupies‹her unsuitable apartment, crowded buses, massed sidewalks, the packed Junto‹define her social immobility and bodily objectification. Lutie ends up on a train in defeat, and the air of resignation the novel concludes with parallels the passenger’s passivity; both destination and route are unalterable and fated.

The streets of Harlem are a welcome change from the subway, and although the homogeneity of race would seemingly further compromise individuality, the opposite is true, as pedestrians ironically accrue differences when placed in an environment of supposed similarity: “Up here they are no longer creatures labeled simply Œcolored’ and therefore all alike. Boots’s indifference to the synecdochic stand-in of his legs suggests an imperviousness to Lutie’s gaze that only bolsters his omnipresence. “Rape of the Lock” which, while without a key, pun on this through its castration themes), on a “long, stout chain,” is able to open up all boxes simultaneously‹ the masculine fantasy of sexual omnipotence and omnipresence‹”thrust[s]” its missives inside, and is able to lock them away from anyone else’s touch before he exits the scene. 1. endstream endobj startxref The balustrade does not offer protection, and her clothing once again proves useless in defense. ATTENTION: Please help us feed and educate children by uploading your old homework! The wind is described negatively by its actions towards pedestrians further, as driving people off the streets and doing “everything it could to discourage the people walking along the street.” (Lines 21-22) By giving the setting human-like qualities, it makes it easier for the reader compare it with Lutie, and find the relationship between the two. The compartmentalization of apartments is correlated to mailboxes, as a building holds many apartments and a mailman’s master key opens all mailboxes at once: “The postman opened all the letter boxes at once, using a key that he had suspended on a long, stout chain. It is in this way that widespread discrimination becomes so truly poisonous to a people; by denying the means to succeed or excel, a pattern of entropy is created; a pattern in which a mother’s child truly has little hope of anything more than a lifetime of gradually escalating desperation and violence. Lutie crosses this line, but only after she has been scarred and imprisoned in a much more narrow space‹the street. Her “rich, pleasant voice,” here performing a sort of castration on the dog, returns twice during Bub’s assault: “‘You heard me, you little bastards,’ she said in her rich, pleasant voice. It is this metamorphosis‹”The same people who had made themselves small on the train, even on the platform, suddenly grew so large they could hardly get up the stairs to the street together” (58)‹that defies objectified labels, and the competition for street space is based upon personal largeness rather than on the shrinking of the public sphere. Junto is far more powerful since he magnifies his presence with an inversion of the traditional trope for the masculine gaze; Lutie always stares at him through reflected mirrors, rather than the other way around, yet he transcends objectification: “She looked at him again and again, for his reflection in the mirror fascinated her. His look of utter astonishment made her strike him again – this time more violently, and she hated herself for doing it, even as she lifted her hand for another blow” (The Street 66). She noticed that once the crowd walked the length of the platform and started up the stairs toward the street, it expanded in size” (57). The imagery of “theater throwaways, announcements of dances and lodge meetings” (11-12) blown around shows some of the city’s local color and—with the asyndetic structure—identifies and emphasizes the large scope of the wind’s area of effect. Special offer for readers. The wind’s humanlike qualities are further emphasized as it “grab[s]” (31), “prie[s]” (32), and “st[icks] its fingers” (33) around the hats, scarves, and coats of passerby. Yet Lutie does find her voice, and this is the one instrument that seems to offer a way out of street and out of the cellar: “She screamed until she could hear her own voice insanely shrieking up the stairs, pausing on the landings, turning the corners, going down the halls, gaining in volume as it started again to climb the stairs” (236). Richard Wright’s “Black Boy”: Literary Analysis, Machiavelli’s The Prince: Themes & Analysis, Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave: Summary & Analysis, The Count of Monte Cristo: Summary & Analysis, Chaim Potok’s The Chosen: Summary & Analysis, Steven Levenkron’s The Best Little Girl in the World: Analysis, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Bells: Summary & Analysis, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Chapters 1-10 Summary, Essay: History of the Social Studies Curriculum, Pip and Joe’s Relationship in Great Expectations. Through diction, imagery, personification, and indirect characterization, this excerpt provides a pessimistic and discouraging yet realistic view of life in the city.

Students write essays that respond to 3 free-response prompts from the following categories: A literary analysis of a given poem; A literary analysis of a given passage of prose fiction (this may include drama) An analysis that examines a specific concept, issue, or element in a work of literary merit selected by the student Scoring Rubrics. Students are rewarded for what they do well.

Constantly overwhelmed by people and the stress of daily activity, the city provides very little privacy or solace. As we see Lutie struggle from one low-paying, demeaning job to the next, we see her own faith and personal character be beaten down bit by bit. %%EOF Although at times she “felt suddenly naked and bald” (36-37) when the wind would lift her “hair away from the back of her neck” (35-36), touch “the back of her neck and [explore] the sides of her head” (39-40), she endured the wind’s abuse, so she could accomplish her mission.

The female voice’s musicality is a provider of agency throughout the novel; Mrs. Hedges thwarts two different assaults, Jones’s and that of a pack of boys on Bub. �rX�Y���4+guK�2�0KJi������E�4�of��ߒ��a~��"�r���|�mAa�����?�K6�"�E�:kJ�Y�P.���;�JIH� &No�k'd�4|����S4�+� Though it may seem a resentful overstatement, the behavior of the men, white or otherwise, around her gives the impression of a more literal translation. On a deeper level, this novel portrays the ever-present and all-encompassing challenges of life in the city as well as the perseverance necessary to overcome this struggle. Throughout these lines, Petry uses words like “dirt and dust and grime,” to negatively characterize the setting and make it seem unappealing to the reader. Interestingly, in a novel whose every action is directed towards acquiring private space, Petry often sings the praises of crowds, so long as they provide individual movement within the anonymous block. Petry, Ann. ‘You go on outta this block, Charlie Moore.’ Mrs. Hedges’ rich, pleasant voice carried well beyond the curb” (347-8). The people sleeping in the white farmhouses were at the mercy of the sound of his engine roaring past in the night – before any of them could analyze the sound that had alarmed them, he was gone” (157). Classic. The wind finds “every scrap of paper along the street” (10) no matter how big or how small. h�bbd``b`� The forceful diction of the wind driving people “bent double” (8) out of the streets with its “violent assault” (9) both personifies the wind and depicts it as a hostile being that seeks to claim its turf. As her own perceptions and actions towards the outside world begin to pervert and twist, Lutie’s race and gender function as both inner and outer demons, providing volatile context for her life as a woman, a provider, and a mother. The “dirt and dust and grime on the sidewalk” that the wind lifts up make breathing, seeing, and walking difficult for innocent pedestrians, the polysyndeton of these obstructions reflecting the victims’ consequently slower pace.

Unlike the dead man Lutie once saw on the sidewalk, whose shoes “she had never been able to forget” (196), Boots’s metamorphosis into a virtual pair of boots does not humanize him; Lutie infects him with the same strain of objectification she has dealt with through the novel, and she assumes a masculine space with her murder. The personification of the wind represents the struggles of an urban life as it affects the lives of the pedestrians and the protagonist Lutie; her conflict with the wind reflects how she too is subject to the hardships of the city, but she remains determined in her goal to find an apartment in the city.

Of course, Lutie hopes that her own pleasant voice literally translates into riches. Over time, these outside influences begin to color Lutie’s own thought-processes and beliefs about herself, creating a volatile frame of mind verging on psychosis, driving her to beat her son, lash out at strangers, and ultimately commit murder. Even the white men are objectified; while their “open” looks may defy the constrictive space around them, they are reduced to “eyes,” just as Lutie is defined by her legs and her clothing‹her one object of defense‹becomes useless. A Cold Wind Blows to Burden the City. Through the combined use of these devices and others, Petry is able to make the reader relate to Lutie in this new, harsh and confusing environment. Ironically, the wind’s determination to inconvenience the city’s inhabitants emphasizes Lutie Johnson’s own tenacity and adaptability in the face of adversity. 0 Add a comment May. Nevertheless, sight, as we will later see, is the most powerful sense in The Street; it opens up space for males, often as an illusion, while women are cornered in, as is Lutie here. In a country run on the backs of dollar bills, to intentionally hold back an entire race of people is not only indicative of a truly disgusting sense of superiority and entitlement, but is also incredibly harmful to society over the long term. (Lines 36-38) Each piece of imagery that Petry chooses to include in her novel reveals a little bit more about the relationship between Lutie and the setting.


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