Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin: A Look at the effect of Parental Prejudice

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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin, delivers a pulse-racing, mystery, tinted with prejudice. Prejudice comes from the Latin, praejudicium, meaning, judgment formed in advance of a trial (Young-Bruehl). Franklin recounts the lives of two men in Chabot, Mississippi in 1979, "a small town largely left behind by the 21st century" (Unlikely Friends). Larry Ott and Silas Jones had a secret and intense friendship for a brief time in the eighth grade. Although they have very different home lives, both men experience prejudice from the father figures in their lives. Studies have shown that children exhibit prejudice as early as the age of five and that one these views develop at such an early age is by “observing and …show more content…
"He understood that Carl liked most everyone except him" (Franklin 38). Larry's father ignores him most of the time and when Carl does speak to him, the things that he says are hurtful. Carl's prejudice against his son causes him to learn "to keep out of sight for most of the day" (Franklin 40). Larry develops the art of avoidance and a need for acceptance at an early age. These personality traits get Larry into trouble later in life. Silas Jones, raised by his single mother also experiences prejudice at the hands of the men in his life. At thirteen, Silas and his mother Alice are living with her boyfriend of almost seven years on the south side of Chicago, when circumstances force them to leave. This is the only long-term father figure in Silas' life, and he makes it clear to Silas that if it "were not for his mother ... Silas would be in the street" (Franklin 101). The men his mother dates treat him poorly when they acknowledged him at all. Because of the treatment he receives from his mother’s boyfriends, short term and long term, Silas realizes that when men look at his beautiful mother, "the last thing the want in the bargain is a kid" (Franklin 101). As Silas realizes that men view him as an obstacle to be navigated, he develops an inner anger. He exhibits spitefulness toward his mother. The attitude that Silas develops creates problems for his mother. Because the father figures in Silas' life

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