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The Breakdown Of Community. Speaks Of Ray Oldenburg's 'the Problem Of Place In America' And Ishmael Reed's 'my Neighborhood'

566 words - 2 pages

In Ray Oldenburg's 'The Problem of Place in America' and Ishmael Reed's 'MyNeighborhood' the authors express thier dissatisfaction with the community. Oldenburgfocuses on the lack of a 'third place' and the effects of consumerism on the suburbs, whileReed recalls his experience with prejudice communities. Their aim is to identify problemsin our society that they find to be a problem. Although neither of these authors offersolutions, the fact that these problems are addressed is enough.Some basic similarities between these two authors is they are both attempting toidentify problems in our society today. There are many that are ailing our society at thistime, yet I agree with them in their deductions. It seems that they have addressed two ofthe main ills today, prejudice and consumerism. These keep our communities frombecoming unified. Fear is one of the prevalent themes in both essays. In Oldenburg'sessay the suburbanite fears the unknown, his neighbors. People feel threatened by the sizeof the communities and they do not know anyone. These is due partly to consumerism,which keeps people indoors. Reed was feared because of the color of his skin. Dogswould bark at him as he walked by, cops would enter his own home to harass him, peoplewould yell racial slurs, and he was even watched closely to make sure that he did notabduct a child off the street. These fears are a result of the media and our society tellingus to fear certain types of people. Television often portrays the black man as a dopedealing slander who hangs out on corners with a forty of 'Old E.' Soon people begin tobelieve all that they hear and begin to discriminate against others.One...

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