Esther Padilla Oakes 80A October 25,2011 Always outnumbered always outgunned Response The book consists of fourteen stories that describe Socrates Fortlow’s , the main character, life. All throughout the book many moral issues are covered such as racism, responsibility, friendship and violence. Socrates grew up in Indiana and was introduces to violence at a very early age. His father was very violent and soon after he passed away both Socrates and his mother lost their house and during some occasion they would go days without eating.
As he kept growing up his bad behavior escalated and dragged him twenty-seven years in state prison for murder and rape. Once he was released he moved to Watts area in Los Angeles, California. After being set free Socrates is a man full of anger but later manages to stay calm and out of trouble to help his fellow black men too stay out of trouble. It isn’t until he walks in a bookstore where he realizes all of his wrong doings and wants to find a way to redeem his self. It is until he meets a boy named Daryl that is going through a lot of trouble and he wants to find a way to keep him out of deeper trouble and on the right track.
Socrates knows how hard it is to be in prison and how much more violence is committed behind bars than on the streets. Redemption is definitely something that is constantly seen throughout the book. When a prisoner is put behind bars the system doesn’t try to rehabilitate them to not keep committing crimes but instead more crime is committed behind bars as was the case of Socrates in the story. He was placed in prison but was never rehabilitated and just kept committing more crimes.
Although, Socrates learned to be tough and a lot from prison it wasn’t that that led him to redemption but instead it was the Capricorn bookstores. Socrates eventually became into a reformed man. He started helping others and became a much more compassionate and caring person. Being brought up in violence and poverty he was always taught to act on impulse but now he has controlled himself and learned to think wisely and learned what is right and what is wrong. He tries to do the right thing by guiding others do take the right decision. Socrates learns that most of his problems were created because of not knowing what is right.