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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Two central themes are the importance of family and appearance versus reality.

The key theme is the importance of family, especially the father-son relationship. Becker was hard on his son because of the crimes he committed and the effect his trial and incarceration had on his mother. Becker rejected Booster, which left both of them alone, and then refused to reconcile. While this could be seen as his failure as a father, ultimately Booster emotionally reconciled and embraced his role as a son by entering into his father's business.

The family relationship among Rena, Youngblood, and their son is also central, as his desire to provide a better life for them undergirds the actions he takes.

"Appearances can be deceiving" is a second primary theme. Turnbo causes a rift between Rena and Youngblood after seeing him with her sister. Rena mistrusts her boyfriend because she thinks he is withholding money from her and their son. In both cases, Youngblood's actions had a different, positive reason behind them. Reacting to those appearances rather than examining the situation causes conflicts among the characters.

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Critical Essays