Alexander Stroud Analysis

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Alexander Stroud is a underprivileged individual who lives in the Quarry. Being of African American descent, his family has lived in the bottom rung for generations. The only way to get up to the higher rung is to exceed a quota of mining. However, this seems an impossible feat, because Alexander doesn’t have the time to even meet this quota. Time is money. Living as the eldest son, he is responsible for his brothers and sisters while his mother works one of her two jobs trying to get her family some time. In the higher rungs, the individuals are given access to more and more advanced tools because they are expensive and cost a great deal. Alex ultimately gains access to these tools, but at a price.
Standing near the fire, Alex cooks dinner for his family. Meanwhile, his mother tries to control his little twin siblings, in their terrible twos, running around aimlessly, laughing and running into the few pieces of house furnishings. This happy family scene is a jarring contrast to the conditions that Alex faced working in the mines earlier in the day. He is without spare time, without tools, and with a high quota that needs to be met. He looks at his dirt covered wrist, and there, etched into his skin, is his clock running down with every second that he wastes looking down at it. He claws into the dirt, sifting through the sediment with his fingers until he grasps something of value. He
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However, when he returned home that evening, he found his mother had fallen ill, and couldn’t help him make ends meet. As the week progressed, his mother ran down her clock, and Alex would refill her time every evening. Alex’s progress at the mine was poor, however, and he was finding less and less viable goods to trade. Between meeting his family quota, keeping his mother alive, and putting bread on the table for his family, Alex was stuck between a rock and a hard
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