What are the themes in the book "Sacred Smokes" by Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.?

The main themes in Sacred Smokes, a of autobiographical anecdotes, are gangsterism, friendship, and poverty. Teddy has grown up in the gang culture, and it is from this culture that his friends come. Poverty, unfortunately, is a way of life in this community.

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This phemonenal book is a collection of stories and anecdotes about what it is like to come of age as a young indigenous man in Chicago. I would say that the dominant themes are gangsterism, friendship, and poverty.

Our storyteller and protagonist, Theodore C. Van Alst Jr., also known as Teddy, is a member of a street gang in 1970s Chicago. In the same way in which most people would be able to direct you to the grocery store, Teddy can direct you to the turfs of all the city's different gangs as if he had the information printed on the back of his hand. Unfortunately, alcoholism goes hand in hand with the gangster way of life, and neither Teddy nor his parents are immune to a love of the bottle.

Friendship is a theme not approached conventionally in Teddy's life. The ways in which he and his friends support one another are coarse, and they are far more likely to tease each other ruthlessly in any given situation than they are to be openly supportive. Drinking is a common pastime for Teddy and his friends, and Teddy keeps his friends entertained during nights of drinking by indulging his natural gift for storytelling.

It is evident that Teddy has suffered the effects of poverty throughout his childhood and youth. He describes a childhood of living with his father in an assortment of "roach motels" and tiny, dirty apartments.

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