In The Given Day, what happens between Danny and Luther during the Boston Police Strike?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Near the end of the book, during the height of the Boston Police Strike, Danny goes in pursuit of Tessa Ficara, an Italian anarchist who has shot  Steve, Danny's old patrol partner. While Danny is able to kill Tessa, he is shot by one of her partners, standing on a fire escape. Luther had stayed behind to try and save Steve's life, but at the critical moment, without knowing where Danny is, he hears the gunshot and uses his skills at baseball pitching to knock the shooter off the fire escape with a brick.

"Twice you saved my life."



"Hell of a throw."


"You should..." --Danny smiled and blood bubbled over his lips-- " a baseball player or something."
(Lehane, The Given Day, Google Books)

Danny and Luther's friendship has been tumultuous and dangerous, considering the racial institutions of the time and the prejudice against black people. However, it is shown through their efforts -- both men are determined to create a better life for their own loved ones -- that they share both desire for unity and freedom, and a sense of camaraderie shared by honorable men. While Danny is trying to make a better world for his fellow police officers, Luther is more concerned with his own life and that of his wife and unborn child; together, however, they prove stronger than the chaos that seeks to destroy the city. Luther and Danny have shared a terrible time in their lives, and by saving Danny's life, Luther proves his strength in the face of adversity.

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