Who turns out to be right, Piri or Brew? Why does he accompany his friends there in the first place? What does Islam mean to him? What does Piri conclude during this conversation?
What is your reaction when Piri talks about holding up a store, or stealing ten dollars from the Puerto Rican girl who befriended him? How would you describe the way women are perceived and treated? How does he show his affection for Piri? What was its role during the Great Depression?
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Does it still apply today? If not, what would be effective? Can society combat this kind of discrimination?
Piri is also troubled by a very personal problem: much darker than his brothers and sisters, he decides that he, unlike his siblings, is black, and that he must come to terms with life as a black American. Is he a good or bad father, a good or bad husband? Add to Cart. How would you describe her? Part Two: Suburbia 1 What are paddies? Do you find that to be true? The questions of race and culture, of drugs, and of crime and punishment are all treated in the book, and should provide jumping-off points for many fruitful discussions.
Do you think that Poppa really is harder on Piri because he is darker? One of the most striking features of Down These Mean Streets is its language. How does life inside prison resemble life outside?
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Do you agree with this point of view? in. Would it differ today? How do they define themselves and measure themselves against others? What makes him proud, what makes him ashamed? Does he keep an open mind? Does Piri, finally, come to have respect for Gerald? Piri Thomas gained the distance and objectivity to observe his world without prejudice or self-deception; your students should try to do the same. What does Brew tell Piri about race relations? What impact could it have on their lives? Your purchase helps support AAJC.
Do you feel that the system he describes is deed to rehabilitate or to punish criminals? How does Piri now feel about Penguin male seeks black or latino female The characters of Down These Mean Streets 1 Piri: Piri presents himself as a product of his race, culture, and community, but many of his traits are purely his own. Do you think she is being realistic, or merely nostalgic? Does this attitude reflect the attitude of those around him, or teenagers as a whole?
Does this reflect American culture or the time period in which the book is set, or both? At what point in his life does Piri start to think of himself as black? In-depth discussion 1 How would you describe the youth culture in Spanish Harlem, of which Piri is a part? Ask your students not only to pay special attention to that culture, but also to compare it with their own, and to look for similarities even when similarities might not be immediately evident.
Would this happen in other cities or neighborhoods?
How many of them will continue in a life of crime? Do you think that Piri feels guilty about shooting the men he has wounded? Why do they fight? Finally, the students should be encouraged to look at the book not only as a cultural document, but also as a work of literature.
Do you think education is effective in combating drug use? Share: Share on Facebook. Do you think his imaginings might be accurate? Do you find him sympathetic? Is the fighting really about hatred or hostility, or does it mean something else? Or perhaps because parents are often strictest with the oldest child? Why does he feel ashamed when his mother lists all the things they need to the investigator, but then add his own item to the list, gloves? How does the fight on 50 illustrate the rules and principles by which the teenage gangs live? What do these young people consider important?
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What have these characters to do with the kind of life Piri lives in Harlem? Has this situation changed much in the fifty years since Piri was a teenager? Is it necessary for him to make a choice? And all the change we could beat out of our girl-debs.
Part Six: Harlem 1 Piri gets hooked on heroin, though he sees what it has done to his friends.
Another important element of the book is its vivid description of the youth culture of the barrio. Do you think that this sort of practice still occurs? How much does peer pressure have to do with his decision to take cocaine?
Why does Piri make them his role models? How does he perceive Piri?
Part Four: Suburbia 1 After his encounter with the white woman in the subway car, Piri imagines her talking to her friends about it. What does he imply about his own future? Why does he agree to go south with Piri? Is it because of a real cultural clash, or is this kind of conflict just part of Penguin male seeks black or latino female nature?
And if not, why? How is community life in a village society different from community life in a big city? Is it effective? How much independence, how much leeway for making personal decisions and choices does a young woman like Trina have? Why is school, and learning, scorned by these young people?
The Parenting Book Guide. The teenaged Piri seeks a place for himself in barrio society by becoming a gang leader, and as he grows up his life spirals into a self-destructive cycle of drug addiction and violence, the same cycle that he sees all around him and hardly knows how to break. Does it apply to other communities and societies? Part Three: Harlem 1 When Piri and Louie apply for sales jobs, they discover that white applicants are getting the jobs and black ones are being told to wait until they are contacted.
In that one second, I was never so ashamed of myself. What is his real attitude toward killing? As prison blocks off your body, so it suffocates your mind. Why are the boys so territorial?
Down these mean streets teacher’s guide
Which of his ideas have been altered by his time in prison? Eventually arrested for shooting two men in an armed robbery, Piri spends six years in Sing Sing and Comstock prisons. How does he create his informal tone, his sense of immediacy? Do you think that she behaves passively toward Piri, or does she demonstrate spirit of her own? Which of the people he meets while in prison enrich and improve his life? Why does he feel, as a teenager, that school is a place for chumps?