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There are No Children Here: Life in the Projects

Life in the Projects Exposed in There are No Children Here

The book There are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz is a very tough yet emotional book. This book is important to me because it really made me see how fortunate I am to be living in a good and safe environment. In this powerful and moving book, reporter Alex Kotlowitz traces two years in the lives of ten-year-old Lafeyette and seven-year-old Pharoah Rivers as they struggle to beat the odds and grow up in one of Chicago’s worst housing projects called Henry Horner.

Lafeyette and Pharoah live with their mother LaJoe. LaJoe also had three older children, LaShawn at the age of twenty five was the oldest. She worked as a prostitute from time to time to support her drug habit. The next oldest, nineteen-year-old Paul, had served time in Indiana prison for burglary. Terence, now seventeen, had began selling drugs at the age of eleven and had been in and out of jail. LaJoes youngest kids were a set of four-year-old triplets, Timothy, Tiffany, and Tammie.

All eight children had the same father, Paul, to whom LaJoe had been married to for seventeen years. The two had long ago fallen out of love. He lived at the home occasionally

The families living conditions were horrible. They lived in a very small apartment which at times had more than ten people living in it. Since LaJoe was a very friendly and considerate person, she brought many kids and adults “under her wing” and took care of them when in need. Some kids in the neighborhood even called her “mom.” LaJoe did not have the heart to turn her back on anyone that appeared at her door.

All the apartments in Henry Horner were falling apart, many of which were vacant. During the spring of 1989 inspections were taking place in the basements of Henry Horner projects by the Manager, Assistant Manager, and maintenance Superintendant. The reported conditions of the basements shocked me. An estimated two thousand appliances, refrigerators, kitchen cabinets, doors, burners, grates, etc. were standing in pools of water rusting away. The basement was heavily infedsted with roaches and flees. Dead rodents were lying in storage areas. The stench and odor was unbearable. After much fighting LaJoe finally got the Chicago Housing Authority employees to clean the basement.

The Ambiguous and Separate Natures of Mosca and Volpone

The Ambiguous and Separate Natures of Mosca and Volpone

The “dynamic duo” consisting of Mosca and Volpone in Ben Jonson’s play Volpone are consistently and inconsistently similar. Strangely enough, appearances can be both correct and deceiving indicators of each character’s traits. The obvious notions of each player are often replaced by the intricacies of individuality.

Considered together, Mosca and Volpone both are childless, unmarried, and cunning deceivers. They are both guilty of unbridled materialism and sordid betrayals. Also, each character depends on some form of disguise- either physical or mental (1.1.
1,31; 1.2.73). Both lustfully desire women, are presumably childless, and unmarried (1.2.117-118). Mosca and Volpone are both alike in their linkage to their personalities by metaphor. Differences, however, arise soon enough.

The play’s establishment of a societal hierarchy is a worthy consideration in the comparison of Mosca and Volpone. Mosca is bound and resistant to his subservience as a “parasite” to his equally dishonest benefactor (Volpone) (1.1.69). Mosca’s pla ce in society is much less considerable than Volpone’s as his longer, more severe punishment reveals. Mosca is left without the saving graces of the status of gentleman (5.12.18). Increasingly, Mosca’s metaphorical affiliation (the housefly) conveys his common existence and non-influential social class. Further, Mosca resents being Volpone’s support system and setting up his wealthy well-wishers for swindlings. Mosca is (at best) praised for being a “fine devil” (5.3.46). Also, as a parasite, Mosca f eels the need to be appreciated for his services- “You see, sir, how I work/ Unto your ends…” (4.6.91-92). Another distinction between both characters is that Mosca feels proud (even in reliable soliloquies) of his prosperous misdeeds. Mosca remarks,
“I fear I shall begin to grow in love/ With my dear self…” (3.1-2). His pride grows into viciousness and a plot to kill his own master in a “Fox-trap” (5.5.18).

Volpone, while equally witty and deceptive, demonstrates he has more power in the relationship. Volpone uses this capability to attempt to claim Celia’s hand despite Mosca’s non-verbalized attempt to do likewise (1.5.108-116). As a nobleman, it st ands to reason that Volpone is more “wrong” for his aspirations. However, in his pursuit, Volpone has real ethical problems (unlike Mosca) with his actions. He talks of expelling a conscious “humor from [his] heart” and cries “What a vile wretch was I”
(5.11.12-15). Mosca is also the driving force for rekindling Volpone’s evil in the duo’s attempt to “gull the court” (5.

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