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Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 71 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned.
This section contains 418 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Study Guide

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Summary & Study Guide Description

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles and a Free Quiz on Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter Mosley.

Plot Summary

The book weaves fourteen stories together about the life of Socrates Fortlow. The stories cover important moral issues; such as, responsibility, loyalty, friendship, manhood, violence and racism.

Socrates Fortlow is a black man, who has spent twenty-seven years in an Indiana state prison for a violent crime he committed. He has been out of prison for eight years and is now living in a two-room apartment in the impoverished Watts area in Los Angeles, California.

Socrates is full of anger, when he is first released from prison. He leaves Indiana for three reasons. One reason is that he wants to live the city life, rather than the rural life he grew up living. The second reason is that he has spent the past twenty-seven years in a cold and drafty prison and now he wants warmth. The third reason is that he wishes to be somewhere that nobody knows him or about the crimes he has committed. He learned in prison that Los Angeles is a place where anyone can be anonymous.

Socrates finds an unexpected place of solace, when he wanders into the Capricorn Bookstore owned by Oscar and Winifred Minette. He encounters men who read and speak their minds. Winifred shows him that people can still care for others even when they know they are wrong. He discovers the art and power of debate. He also has a seed planted in his mind, by Oscar Minette, that there is a purpose to everyone's life. The bookstore changes Socrates' life forever.

Socrates has become a wise leader, of sorts. He takes Darryl, a young and troubled boy who has little chance of making it in life, under his wing and shows him there are ways other than gangs and violence that he can survive. He also assists his friends in issues such as crime, health and relationships. He has learned to use his mind rather than irrational violence.

Socrates is struggling with making an honest living in life and standing up for his rights. He lives off of the money he makes collecting bottles and cans, until he grows tired of being treated as if he is insignificant. His determination and pride allow him to stand up to a large supermarket and get a job.

Socrates is constantly dealing with his remorse for the crimes he has committed, and the grief he has caused those that loved him. Either Muriel, the woman he raped and murdered, or Theresa, the woman he loved, influence the way he views and interacts with women he encounters.

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This section contains 418 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned Study Guide
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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