Down These Mean Streets Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Down These Mean Streets.
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The Need to Belong

Piri's need to fit in is what leads him down the wrong road. He is willing to fight for the right to a "rep" in the neighborhoods where he lives and leaves home at an early age in order to return to his friends in Harlem. Piri talks about his skin tone and his features that make him look more like a Negro than his brothers. Though he has friends who are black, Piri continues to wish he was lighter skinned so he is not constantly being called Negro. He continues to insist he is Puerto Rican. He goes on a trip to the south in what seems like a quest to find his roots.

It is his friends who first entice Piri to take hard drugs with them. Though he takes marijuana, he does not take any harder drugs because of what he has...

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This section contains 1,068 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Down These Mean Streets Study Guide
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