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The Baddest Dog in Harlem by Walter Dean Myers

            In this essay I'm going to analyze "The Baddest Dog in Harlem," and give my take on what the author, Walter Dean Myers, message was with the story. I will also draw parallels between the meaning of "The Baddest Dog in Harlem" and the song 41 shots by Bruce Springsteen. "The Baddest Dog in Harlem" was published in 2001 and takes places in Harlem, New York. The story is written in a "slang" language meaning that the author doesn't use correct textbook grammar. Instead the author changes a lot of the structures in the sentences giving the language a twist and making it sound more like a talkative language instead of a formal textbook one. This lightens the mood of the story and also gives the reader a feel of actually being in Harlem and hearing how a lot of the people who live in that neighborhood talk. .
             The essay has a lot of different characters in the story, characters who we only briefly get to know since we aren't really given much information about them. There's Willie Murphy who is in his thirties and thinks he knows better than most other people because of his age. Then we have Tommy, Pedro and Willie all guys who participate in a boxing discussion in the beginning of the essay. Then there's Mr. Lynch who according to the storyteller was so old that he had washed dishes at the Last Supper. All these guys are sitting talking about nothing until a bunch of cops suddenly show up and start taking aim at a building. They say that a person has been seen with an automatic weapon inside a building. Everybody around them starts to get anxious about the situation and all of the sudden the cops start to fire through a window in the building. Afterwards they find the lady who lives in the apartment that they fired at and it turns out that they had shot nothing but the woman's dog and that there was no bad guy. And just as you think that that's bad enough we also find out that the bullets had gone through to another apartment and killed a little boy.

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