The Streets by Ann Petry

4 April 2015
An analysis of the book “The Streets” by African-American author Ann Petry.

The paper analyzes the central themes of Ann Petry’s book, The Streets written in 1946 about racism and ghetto life in Harlem. The paper also discusses the theme of abandonment by her husband and the way it altered her focus on attaining the American Dream. The paper shows that the situation in Harlem is indeed improving since the book was written, despite Petry’s feeling of disillusionment of the place before her death several years ago.
“Contrary to some of Petry’s statements, her success did not portray that of a victim’s mentality. Although she felt her race strongly influenced her chances of success, she had a strong belief that one must have a definite purpose in life. Her successes reflect this. Some people can take their unfairness of discrimination and use it in their favor. Coming from the upper middle class family, which she did, she was instilled in good values. Although she had powerful setbacks, she did achieve adequate success in her lifetime. These trying and hard times did not dampen her optimism. She was constantly reminded of reality, by well meaning friends and family. No one was going to take her focus off of achieving this American dream by overcoming poverty and defeat. It takes a strong person to block out the negativity of people’s opinions and remains focused. Lutie never does achieve her American dream completely, as she intended. She has made significant progress in pursuit of her goals; although ultimate result is that she is distracted.”

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The Streets by Ann Petry. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from
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