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Unformatted text preview: The cave is a safe place for James and Alfred, a symbolic haven from the mean streets and bullies like Major who steal whatever small change the boys have. Near the end of the novel, when James is seriously injured and running from the police, Alfred knows that he can find his old friend hiding in the cave. As boys, they spun their dreams in solitude there. Some of their fantasies may have been unrealistic, but at least Alfred and James had hope. James doesn't have much hope left as the novel opens; his hopes and dreams have been dashed by people like his father and Major and the gang. In sharp contrast to the secret cave is the clubroom where the street gang hangs out. The clubroom is Major's domain and symbolizes the negative energy of Harlem. The mean streets make themselves at home in the basement hovel; the gang members strut right in, flop on the sagging couch, and light up a joint. Major literally flexes his muscles in front of the cracked mirror, watching a couch, and light up a joint....
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- Fall '09
- amusement park. Alfred, Alfred. Alfred