Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Handbook for Boys: Book Club Reflection Two

I actually really enjoyed this meeting, and prefer meeting in person over google hangouts (the lag can make it a little awkward). In this session, we talked about several different things that stood out to us.

First, we discussed what we think a person is entitled to, which was a central theme in this section of the book. We talked about how we are only entitled to privileges, and when we do something wrong we loose those. You don't work, you don't eat. If you committed a crime and are in prison, you have lost your freedom. These so called rights can be lost as a consequence to our actions. Provisions provided to an individual by the government or the people around them should only be a backup plan.

We also talked about Duke's opinion on what everyone should know, and the rules that everyone should follow to be successful. Even if they don't know these rule successful people follow them. If Duke were to write this book, he would call it Handbook for Boys, which is where we get our title. Some predictions came true as well. We found out that Duke went to college. Jimmy continues to grow as a character. He becomes more curious and starts to show up early for work to talk to Duke.
We learn more about Mr. M and how he is from Puerto Rico, worked his way from the bottom up and used to own a business.

The quote that really stood out to me in this chapter was when Duke talked about how, "That's why you hear so many young guys talking about going into the NBA. That's a success they can see, even if they can't play a lick of ball (81)." I thought this quote was so true, and you really do see this with many kids. If they aren't told they need a practical plan too, then that's what they aim for. That's why kids need someone in their life to be an example of someone who is successful. Every child needs to be shown a visible success.


  1. I am glad you are connecting the larger themes of the book to society as a whole. Meanwhile you ground this discussion with explicit evidence from the text. Nice job.

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