The Rockpile Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Rockpile.
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Violence in Harlem

"The Rockpile" addresses the issue of violence in Harlem. The story explores the issue in two ways. First, it examines violence among community members. In the beginning of the story, the narrator discusses the fights that take place on the rockpile during the afternoons and on Saturdays and Sundays: "They fought on the rockpile. Sure footed, dangerous, and reckless, they rushed each other and grappled on the heights." Later in the story, Roy becomes one of these boys, going over to the rockpile "with his friends." Roy's friends soon clash with another group of boys: "there was a gang fight on the rockpile. Dozens of boys fought each other." While this violence ends in Roy getting a cut above his eye, the damage is not as fierce as that caused by the emotional violence in the story. In the Grimes family, Gabriel rules with an iron...

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This section contains 688 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Rockpile Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Rockpile from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.