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Decisions Of The Street: "Smack" By Melvin Burgess

509 words - 3 pages

Life on the streets is filled with conflicts and decisions we don't face all too often. For Gems and Tar of Melvin Burgess' "Smack", life is about having fun and at the same time being strong. These two teenagers run away from home and live in abandoned houses called squats in 1980's Bristol, England. Here on the streets, Tar and Gems meet a great deal of interesting people, and are faced with a different world. This new world is full of drugs and sex, ups and downs. The decisions they make, whether to stay or go, or whether to love or not, will affect them greatly.For Tar, the seventeen year old ...view middle of the document...

Tar has to face himself and decide which is best. The good outweighs the bad and Tar leaves home.Once on the streets, Tar's girlfriend Gems is faced with a decision of her own. When the two go to a concert, or a bop as it was called, a good looking guy offers to take Gems with him to his place. The idea of running off with this person is something that interests Gems. She is just about ready to take off when she remembers Tar. He is her boyfriend of about a year, but she doesn't really love him even though he loves her a great deal. Gems is the only person Tar has to hold on to, like she is keeping him from falling. Gems tries to love him as much as he loves her, but she yet doesn't. She finds the answer within herself to stay with Tar, which later in the book proves to have been the right choice.With the choices they made, some of which weren't the wisest they could have been, the two get into drugs. At first it's some smoking some joints, and later on it progresses into a Heroin addiction. Without a job, they must find a way to pay for the drugs, and Gems solves that with prostitution. Lily, Gems's friend who lives with her and Tar does that same and ends up pregnant. Not wanting to give up the baby, nor harm it with her habits, Lily and Gems and Tar all struggle to make it out and drop the drugs.

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