If I Grow Up: A Character Analysis

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Did you know that in Los Angeles there are two gangs that have made a bet, who could kill one hundred people the fastest, within one hundred days? This is a real life problem that is occurring all around us in the projects and we rarely notice. In the novel If I Grow Up, by Todd Strasser, there is a boy named DeShawn and he was born and raised in the Frederick Douglass Projects. He wanted to grow up, have a family, and get out of the projects. However, for many people that doesn’t happen, usually the mean leave the families and join a gang, and often they get killed. So for DeShawn this meant he had to chose between having a better life or joining the gang and being like everybody else. However, DeShawn did have a choice to better his life. DeShawn could have gotten a job, taken the better offers when they were on the table, and continued his education.
Some may claim that DeShawn didn’t have a choice to better his life because other students from other school have the proper tutoring to be able to get into better schools. Although this may be true, DeShawn was given flashcards by his teacher, and he didn’t even look at them. On page 89 DeShawn said, “I shook my head.
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When DeShawn was younger if someone asked him what he was going to do he would have said he was going to finish school and get a proper education. One of his teachers even had a plan for him. On page 81 DeShawn says, “I may even go to Hewlett Academy over in Beech Hill.” DeShawn had a plan ready which proves that he had a choice to go to this school, but he chose to stay in Douglass and not try. DeShawn had a choice to show up to school, but he rarely attended. DeShawn’s principal said on page 175, “In the past two months you’ve missed twenty-seven days of school..” Usually if someone wants to continue their education they will make a genuine effort to attend class. This proves that DeShawn chose to not care and not go to

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