Piri Thomas Larry Garvin - Essay

Larry Garvin

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Down These Mean Streets for me … is an account of the victory of innocent values over a dehumanizing environment.

This innocence comes from Piri's complete immersion in life, and his absolute commitment to telling the full story without selective omission. Piri's innocence survives the baptism of the street because he arms it with a survival tool: chameleon-like self-assertion. Thus the self-conscious voice of the prologue—"I am My Majesty Piri Thomas"—carries innocence to safety through the mean streets of brutalization. (p. 197)

Chronologically, Savior picks up where Down These Mean Streets ends. But a shifting of tone and a changing of style are...

(The entire section is 1067 words.)