When Alfred first appears in the novel

When Alfred first - , Pearl'sapartment...The sun,,"dirtygrayHarlemsky Thea

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
When Alfred first appears in the novel, he is on the front steps of the building that houses his Aunt  Pearl's apartment. Before him are the mean streets of Harlem. The atmosphere is repressive. The  sun, often a literary symbol of hope or promise, melts into the despair of a "dirty gray Harlem sky."  The air is "sour," rancid, and foul. Young men without direction gather on street corners, drifting,  waiting for something to happen. Cars crunch through garbage and broken glass. Packs of children,  "ragged and skinny," have empty beer cans for toys. The sights and sounds echo the sense of the  backdrop that Lipsyte paints. This is the world that dominates Alfred's life. His struggle will be to  overcome the repression. Initially, Alfred thinks he can do this only by escaping Harlem. Aunt Pearl's apartment offers some security, but it can't compare to Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Wilson's 
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/06/2011 for the course ENG 3320 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at University of Houston.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online