116th Street Ann Petry Thesis

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In the quarter towards midway of The Street, Ann Petry describes how African American’s lived in poverty as well as faced racism. Petry portrays Lutie not “[seeing] anything at all but 116th Street and a job that paid barely enough for food and rent and a handful of clothes” (Petry 147). Petry is showing her readers that Lutie is not getting paid a fair amount in order to pay for her living conditions as well as her son Bub. She as well creates a feeling of poverty that lives amongst 116th Street which creates a more sentimental feeling to her readers. Petry as well shows that in 117th Street, “Lutie looked at each store, closely reacting to it as violently as though she had never seen it before” (Petry 152). She is continually stating that…show more content…
Petry does this when she says that “[m]oney could make a white cop almost smile when he caught a black man speeding” (Petry 166). This indicates that during Petry’s time there was unfair justice going on. She shows that African Americans were treated unfairly when it came to them getting caught. Lutie has got a job offering in Smith’s band as a singer and by doing so “[i]t was a way out” for her and her son (Petry 187). In order for her and her son to get out, she has to earn money, and this job is the most efficient way of getting it. Petry is showing her readers that Lutie had jumped from job to job in order to find one that offers the most. This creates the hardships Lutie had to face to ensure that her and her son will live happily. In addition to hardships Lutie had to face, Lutie describes that the “[Super] had been chained to buildings until he was like an animal” (Petry 191). Petry makes an analogy between the Super and an animal, that he is actually never leaving the building because he’s attached to it. This creates a more grotesque image of the Super being an animal. Nevertheless, in the hardest times Lutie faces, she continues moving forward in order to be
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