"Down These Mean Streets" By: Piri Thomas

Essay by ricankid585High School, 11th gradeA+, April 2005

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Down These Mean Streets

"Down These Mean Streets", an autobiography by Piri Thomas, is about his life as a boy getting to manhood on the mean streets of the Spanish Harlem. While growing up in Harlem, Piri had an attitude adapted to him from the barrios. The attitude he adopted which was both hot-tempered and violent got him into this whole life of troubles. Whenever Piri had a problem, he would resort it with anger and violence. Piri had done this many times, one for example was when he was a kid and was in class; the teacher didn't let him go to the bathroom so he decided to walk out. As he was walking out the door his teacher grabbed a hold of his shirt to stop him and accidentally ripped it. Realizing that his shirt got ripped he became angry and without thinking turned around and punched her in the face.

His quick temper caused him to hit a woman, which shows that he isn't able to think things out and then act in a respectful manner. Another example of this attitude problem of his was when he got into an argument with his girlfriend. After a party they went to, Piri was walking her home and a verbal fight popped up. When Piri started to get heated and unable to control his anger, he sent his fist through a window which ended him up in the hospital. The most explicit example of Piri's aggression was at the age of twenty-two. He and two of his paddie friends named Billy and Danny was trying to pull a job at a night club. Piri was guarding the front door thinking "anyone enters, nobody leaves" when all of a sudden he got shot, not thinking of the...