The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (1/3)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas follows the life of a black girl named Starr Carter, after her childhood friend Khalil gets killed by a police officer. Following Khalil’s death, the reader is able to observe Starr’s struggles with violence within her community and racism, as well as how she deals with the major differences between friends from her school and her neighborhood.

The most prevalent theme throughout the first third of The Hate U Give has been racial injustice. Through the opening scenes, the reader witnesses Khalil and Starr getting pulled over by a cop for no specific reason. During this scene, Angie Thomas stresses how prevalent racism is in their community when she discusses a talk Starr previously had with her parents: “The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me. Momma fussed and told Daddy I was too young for that. He argued that I wasn’t too young to get arrested or shot. ‘Starr-Starr, you do whatever they tell you to do,’ he said. ‘Keep your hands visible. Don’t make any sudden moves” (20). Although she was still a young child, Starr’s parents were forced to take cautionary actions against the police brutality that was ever so common in their community. This quote alone allows the reader a perspective of how much racism can have an effect on black communities like Starr’s.

Racism also follows Starr through her life while at her school in Williamsburg, a predominately white neighborhood. I thought that the inclusion of Starr’s use of code switching while at Williamsburg was yet another way to call attention to how prevalent racism still is in many areas. Starr refrains from using slang or having a confrontational attitude to keep herself from being seen as “ghetto” by the other students. I think this is tied together with other books and articles we have discussed as a class, such as the Ted Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story” presented by Chimamanda Adichie. I found that both The Hate U Give and “The Danger of a Single Story” discuss how dangerous labels can be.

In my opinion, I believe this book would be a good book to add to the English curriculum to due to how relevant the themes discussed are to the time we live in today. Similarly to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Starr’s voice in The Hate U Give is strong. I think it would be a more than adequate replacement for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, due to it’s ability to give students an example of a strong personal voice. Lastly, with the increase in police shootings that have sparked movements such as Black Lives Matter, The Hate U Give could provide a new  perspective for many.

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15 responses to “The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (1/3)

  1. Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give is a book that calls out social prejudice and racism in its many forms. Starr is certainly an engaging character, and I definitely agree with Sofia regarding the prominent theme of codeswitching. Starr explains the way in which she acts towards her peers in Garden Heights, an area of her city that is predominantly populated by low-income African American families, and incredibly susceptible to gang violence. During the novel’s opening chapter, a friend from the so-called ghetto tells her “‘You act like you don’t know nobody ’cause you go to that school'” (Thomas 4). In response, Starr reflects upon how “I’ve been hearing that for six years, ever since my parents put me in Williamson Prep” (Thomas 4). Even from the book’s second page, a clear conflict is established, and Starr begins to struggle with her identity as she is caught between Williamson Prep, a school in suburban paradise, and the community she has grown up in all her life.

    In contrast to the violence she has faced in Garden Heights, Starr’s experience at school is incredibly contradictory. She describes how she “flips the switch in her brain” to avoid sounding “hood”, and most of all, like “the ‘angry black’ ” (Thomas 71). In one way or another, everyone faces the issue of having to transition between different personas. However, Starr faces what she perceives as two extremes, attempting to conform to her white school’s standards while simultaneously letting Garden Heights know she has not forgotten her roots.

    I too found that the connection to social issues in our modern day made for an incredibly fascinating read. We so often see news stories relating to police brutality, especially against people of color, and the protests that result, but we are unable to see the actual human beings affected in every aspect. I am very intrigued by the first portion of this novel, which, even despite the fact that it’s fictional, allows me to empathize with a character experiencing today’s issues rather than solely viewing an apathetic news story about. The Black Lives Matter movement (and similar contemporary ideologies) becomes increasingly prominent as the story moves along.

    The Hate U Give is not only very entertaining but also provides a new perspective and voice relating to racial issues of today. Starr has a very strong voice and is surrounded by other complex characters. Her voice as a teenage girl is especially relatable, and the author’s strong voice has so far been very effective at conveying her message. In my opinion, The Hate U Give is definitely appropriate for teenagers, and is a book that causes one to ponder the various issues of class and race in our communities.

  2. miacremona

    Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give is a book that calls out social prejudice and racism in its many forms. Starr is certainly an engaging character, and I definitely agree with Sofia regarding the prominent theme of code-switching. Starr explains the way in which she acts towards her peers in Garden Heights, an area of her city that is predominantly populated by low-income African American families, and incredibly susceptible to gang violence. During the novel’s opening chapter, a friend from the so-called ghetto tells her “‘You act like you don’t know nobody ’cause you go to that school’” (Thomas 4). In response, Starr reflects upon how “I’ve been hearing that for six years, ever since my parents put me in Williamson Prep” (Thomas 4). Even from the book’s second page, a clear conflict is established, and Starr begins to struggle with her identity as she is caught between Williamson Prep, a school in suburban paradise, and the community she has grown up in all her life.

    In contrast to the violence she has faced in Garden Heights, Starr’s experience at school is incredibly contradictory. She describes how she “flips the switch in her brain” to avoid sounding “hood”, and most of all, like “the ‘angry black’ ” (Thomas 71). In one way or another, everyone faces the issue of having to transition between different personas. However, Starr faces what she perceives as two extremes, attempting to conform to her white school’s standards while simultaneously letting Garden Heights know she has not forgotten her roots.

    I too found that the connection to social issues in our modern day made for an incredibly fascinating read. We so often see news stories relating to police brutality, especially against people of color, and the protests that result, but we are unable to see the actual human beings affected in every aspect. I am very intrigued by the first portion of this novel, which, even despite the fact that it’s fictional, allows me to empathize with a character experiencing today’s issues rather than solely viewing an apathetic news story about. The Black Lives Matter movement (and similar contemporary ideologies) becomes increasingly prominent as the story moves along.

    The Hate U Give is not only very entertaining, but also manages to provide a new perspective and individual voice relating to racial issues of today. Starr has a very strong voice and is surrounded by other complex characters. Her voice as a teenage girl is especially relatable, and the author’s strong voice has so far been very effective at conveying her message. In my opinion, The Hate U Give is definitely appropriate for teenagers, and is a book that causes one to ponder the various issues of class and race in our communities.

  3. jackiebooth21

    “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas has been an entertaining, real, and eye-opening novel. The book centers around social and racial injustice, and this concept is delivered through the words of a relatable teenage girl, Starr. Starr’s voice throughout the novel is incredibly strong, and I feel as if I can know her personally and sympathize with her.

    As Mia and Sophia said, I found many prominent examples of code-switching. Starr lives in Garden Heights, a predominately black neighborhood known for its violence and drug deals. However, she attends Williamson high school. The atmosphere here is extremely different from her neighborhood, and she is one of the only black students. It has already been made clear that Starr code switches often. While at Williamson, she acts and speaks completely different than she does while at home. Starr explains it perfectly when she says, “‘Basically, Williamson Starr doesn’t give anyone a reason to call her ghetto. I can’t stand myself for doing it, but I do it anyway'” (Thomas 71). Not only does this quote elaborate on Starr’s differing personalities, it also offers insight into her own struggles. Starr realizes that she code switches, and she hates this about herself. Yet she makes so effort to change it. This shows an internal conflict within Starr, and shows the reader that she is constantly struggling with her identity.

    While reading this novel, I found that Starr often gives the reader meaningful insight into her thoughts. While her voice is sometimes humorous, Starr’s voice also can take on a more serious and thoughtful tone. An example of her deep thinking follows: “The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen- people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice” (Thomas 59). When I first read this sentence, my head began to nod on its own. I had never thought about it this way. I realized that people often sympathize and feel sorry for others in bad situations like Starr’s and Kahlil’s (police brutality), but they rarely do anything to help. I suddenly understood that feeling sorry for them and creating hashtags isn’t enough. If we really want to fight against these problems, we need to truly support the people in need and help them find justice.

    So far, “The Hate U Give” has been an incredible and enlightening novel, and I can’t wait to continue reading.

  4. The Hate You Give has certainly set high standards for the rest of the novel with the first third of the book. Just like Sophia, Mia, and Jackie said, it focuses on the themes of racial injustice and codeswitching. From the moment I started this novel, I was interested. Angie Thomas has given Starr a unique voice that shines through. By writing in the first person, it helps capture all her thoughts and like Jackie said, let us get to know Starr as a person, rather than just another character in a fictitious story.

    The quote that Sophia mentioned on page 20 that stated, “The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me,” is the first of many quotes I found that help brings more meaning and depth to the book. It is sad how this is a regular talk for the young children in Starr’s community and household, that goes right with the other talk. It helps to draw an emphasis on the conflict that continues through the book.

    I found that Starr’s codeswitching stood out quite a bit, especially when she says, “That’s when I realized Williamson is one world and Garden Heights is another, and I have to keep them separate”(Thomas 36). All the other quotes presented help support this line, which is also shown through her actions. It seems that she keeps Kenya, a friend in Garden Heights separate from Hailey and Maya, her friends from Williamson. She later states that it is because she is ashamed to share the ghetto side of her. The quote that Mia mentioned helps showcase Starr’s internal conflicts as well. I also thought it was interesting that on page seventy-one, Starr refers to herself as Williamson Starr, as if she is an entirely different person. She also states that she can’t act like herself around people at Williamson, so by adding “Williamson Starr,” it helps bring attention to this idea.

    Another idea to add that hasn’t been stated yet, but I love the relationship between Starr and her mother. While humorous at times, it shows the love and lessons that go on between a mother and daughter. An example is when Brenda, Khalil’s mother, comes by to take to Starr’s mother, Lisa. Starr has bitter feelings spread throughout her mind when Brenda starts weeping for Khalil and starts judging her as well. However, Lisa quickly shuts her down by saying, “That was her son, you hear me? Her son! … She carried that boy, birthed that boy. And you have no right to judge her”(Thomas 91). It helps show the concept of a single story, that we have no rights to judge others based on what we hear about them and how they are portrayed to us. It’s important to understand what they’re going through and create an empathy link.

    All in all, the first third of The Hate You Give has been entertaining, and I look forward to reading the rest of the novel. I also agree with Sophia’s idea of adding it to the English curriculum, instead of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

  5. alexandrastearns2124

    As Jackie, Isha, Sofia, and Mia have previously stated, Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give is a novel that focuses on racism, violence, and social prejudice. The author writes the truth with no mask, and I found it shocking and bold at first, but not anymore. This eye-opening novel follows the complicated life of an African American girl named Starr Carter, who is as relatable as a teenager can get. Starr struggles with her life after her close friend Khalil is shot unjustly by a white police officer. After seeing Khalil get shot right in front of her, she describes in detail the red blood that surrounded him. When she is comforted by friends and family, the color red seems to pop up everywhere, from Ms. Brenda’s red eyes to “a Freeze Cup for the road, red syrup glistening on the top” (66). Violence is everywhere in her world.

    I agree with Sofia’s point of the similarities between “The Danger of The Single Story” and the scenes where blacks are shown to be dangerous. Starr describes, “He kept it on me until somebody else got there. Like I was a threat. I wasn’t the one with the gun” (120). The police officer has been trained to be wary of black people, and being extra careful is a normality for him. Not all blacks carry weapons or are a threat to others, and Khalil and Starr were an example of this. Thomas shuts down the single story of black people in this novel.

    I also noticed that there are drastic differences between Starr’s life at school and her life in the ghetto. There are many examples of the different language that is used, such as the “eww” versus “ill”, but the more dramatic deviation is Starr’s personality. When Starr is getting back to her normal life, she tells herself, “I just have to be normal Starr at normal Williamson and have a normal day. That means flipping the switch in my brain so I’m Williamson Starr. Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang…Williamson Starr holds her tongue when people piss her off so nobody will think she’s the ‘angry black girl.’ Williamson Starr is approachable” (71). She is suppressing her true culture and upbringing in order to fit in at her school. The main problem at her school is mostly drama-related, with friends and boyfriends thrown into the mix, but at home, it is more life-threatening. At school, she does not need to fear for her life, fleeing into her house’s basement when shots ring out in her neighborhood. Trying to control her true feelings on the matter, Starr, “chooses every word carefully and makes sure she pronounces them well” (95), when she is testifying at the police station. The fact that she must make sure of this in order to get the truth out proves the single story occurring in people’s minds. Coming across a novel like this that dives deep into the story of people witnessing an unjust shooting is rare, and it has impacted my political views.

    I found it interesting that Starr’s family and community is so close to each other. At one point, Starr mentioned that her uncle was almost like her father. Personally, I only see and talk to my uncle once a year, and I wish that I was closer with him and the rest of my family. One of the reasons why I like this book so much is because it is full of modern day references, like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Drake, J. Cole, and the nae nae. It brightens up the dark tone of the novel, and keeps the reader interested.

    Like Jackie, I cannot wait to see what unfolds for Starr later in this novel. I hope to see her start to advocate for Khalil’s justice more in the next third of the novel.

  6. alexandrastearns2124

    The Hate U Give (2/3)

    In the second third of this book, Starr’s world around her complicates dramatically, with racism around every corner. I find that I am more and more intrigued by the story the more I read it. The author is very brave to write about a topic that is so controversial. Her voice is being made heard, just like Starr. She talks about black people, minorities, and poor people being at the bottom of society. But that, “we’re the ones they fear the most” (168). Her belief is that today, people basically have the same mentality to black people as they did hundreds of years ago. Reading this book makes me feels uncomfortable because I’m finding that her point is true.

    Starr’s character is becoming bolder in her nature, becoming more used to the fact that her best friend was unjustly murdered. I am liking her character more and more, as well as her family members. Her mother is always very comforting towards her, especially when Starr is put in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes, Starr is unable to feel safe, realizing that her mother’s “words used to have power. If she said it was fine, it was fine. But after you’ve held two people as they took their last breaths, words like that don’t mean shit anymore” (165). She is coming to the realization that the outside world is cruel, and that her parents cannot protect her from all of the horrors that occur in her neighborhood. Her father also tries to cheer her up when she breaks down talking to a woman fighting for Khalil’s justice, trying to help her through challenging times. Also, Maverick helps Starr start to speak out and face what happened, telling her that this is “something to live for, something to die for” (200).

    The gangs in the neighborhood add an over-looming sense of fear and doom to the characters. It seems like everyone is involved with shady things that are under the law, from Khalil selling drugs to her father previously being in the Kings gang. However, the single story of darkness surrounding African Americans is broken when the readers find out that Khalil was only selling drugs to help his mother survive. Starr realizes with horror that she, “thought the worst of him. Like everybody else” (237). She is referring to the fact whites see the worst in black people at first sight.

    Throughout the novel, the blacks are often written as the victims, but one of the times where they aren’t is when Starr’s family meets her boyfriend, Chris. Her father’s reaction is shock, and Chris feels uncomfortable. He is not used to being treated that way, and I thought it was interesting that the author included this.

    Starr’s friends should be supportive of what she is going through, but they are not. Her friends both went to the protest at Williamson just to skip class. Starr gets very angry, lashing out. Hailey, when viewing the lies on television about the encounter, said, “His son lost everything because he was trying to do his job and protect himself. His life matters too, you know” (248). This makes me cringe, but I understand where Hailey is coming from. She is used to putting her own race in the right, and others in the wrong. This further displays racism at the core of people’s thoughts.

    I stopped at the part where Starr is on an interview about Khalil’s murder. She ends up telling the truth that the other news channel left out, risking her reputation and changing her life in the process. This is the turning point of the novel, and I am now left wondering what will happen next. I predict that the drama in the town will escalate, and that the citizens will try to eliminate the racism and social prejudice running rampant.

  7. While the topic of racism is definitely prevalent through the second third of the book, I’m going to challenge some of Alexandra’s thoughts. First of all, when mentioning the quote, “[she] thought the worst of him. Like everybody else,” it refers to ALL the people that see Khalil for someone who he’s not, which could include any race, any person that didn’t know Khalil’s side of the story. In this book, however, Thomas does seem to accent that whites are behind racism towards blacks.

    Secondly, I get what you mean about Starr’s friend, in particular, Hailey. But I believe these actions are triggered because Starr lied to them about knowing Khalil. While it certainly wasn’t the greatest way to act, I believe that if they knew that Starr knew Khalil, then they may have changed their actions. However, when Hailey says the line about the police officer, she also has her reasons. Yes, I also cringed when I read that line, but, she doesn’t know the full story. Yes, the reason you mentioned for her response may be true, but I feel that it is more based on how she only knows the police officer’s version, and not Starr’s. Starr gives an accurate recount of what happened, while the facts are distorted in the interview. If she knew both sides, then she maybe she wouldn’t have been so quick to judge.

    While reading the second half, I stumbled upon a few pages that go into the full discussion about the acronym and song “Thug Life” by Tupac. It’s almost like an English discussion and a history discussion at the same time, because it explores issues and controversies, and goes back in time as well. This is found on pages 167 to 179. It goes into why Khalil sold drugs and how Tupac gave “Thug Life” a meaning to Starr’s community and the riots that were raging around Garden Heights. I’m glad this was mentioned in the novel aside from the beginning of the book because it isn’t significant at the start, but it is now.

    In class, we talked about the comic relief that Shakespeare often gives the audience after a serious and important scene. In this novel, I can find the same technique being used to relieve the tension throughout the entire book. Trying to achieve justice for a best friend isn’t a walk in the park, so by adding comedic lines, it draws away from the intense, overarching plotline. For example, Just Us For Justice, the company that Ms. Ofrah, Starr’s attorney, works at, occupies a Taco Bell. Mrs. Ofrah exclaims, “And if you’re wondering, yes, we do get the occasional prankster who pulls up to the window and tells me they want a chalupa”(Thomas 215). When reading the novel up until this point, I was straight-faced and enjoying the elements. By adding humor, Thomas’s voice shines through even more and adds so much sparkle to the book.

    I’m excited to see what the last third brings to Starr, her family, and to see what becomes of her struggle for justice for Khalil.

  8. Part (3/3)

    The last third of The Hate You Give is perhaps the most exciting and dramatic. In this, all the “parts” come together, since much of this third is split up into different parts after Starr testifies. By splitting up the parts of the book into five parts is an amusing idea that I don’t completely understand yet. They are split apart by time, describing how long it has been after “it,” which is defined as either the testimony or the decision. If anyone has any ideas to why she chooses to sort the book into not only chapters but sections, please comment on your thoughts.

    While this third doesn’t explore the theme of racism as much as the other pieces of the book, this section seems to explore the connections between Starr and her family and friends. When they are traveling the roads around Garden Heights, Starr, Devante, Chris, and Seven all get a little closer by sharing their thoughts on the stereotypes they’ve been exposed to. For example, Chris accuses all of them of having strange names, but he is quickly shut down. Secondly, Starr, Devante, and Seven all stereotype whites as people who “always wanna split up, and when they do something bad happens”(Thomas 400). This foreshadows the breakdown of Seven’s car, particularly, the reaction of Chris. He states for them to split up, but then stops midsentence to notice that he’s proving the stereotype. This was a great example of comic relief that Angie Thomas provides throughout the entire novel. The little moments like that that are incorporated everywhere in the book help perfect this piece.

    To go more in depth about her relationships with her friends, Starr grows closer to Maya and Kenya, while ditching her toxic friend, Hailey. Starr’s mother tells Starr to cut Hailey out of her world if the bad stuff outweighs the good. In this, Angie Thomas is also teaching the reader how to notice a noxious relationship when it’s present.

    All in all, this story has been an amazing read for me because Angie Thomas is able to combine many elements into one great book. This includes topics that offer a lot of controversies today, such as police violence, as well as the component of comic relief. I would give this book a nine out of ten because while it is a great novel that calls out all sorts of issues, it also stereotypes others while attempting to prove other stereotypes wrong. I also hope that this is added to the Freshman curriculum instead of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

  9. jackiebooth21

    2/3

    The second part of “The Hate U Give” has been just as amazing as part one. I continue to be amazed by the author’s writing skills, and especially the way she is able to give Starr such a strong voice.

    As stated by Alexandra, the author’s boldness is very evident in this novel. Starr’s voice is becoming even stronger as the book goes on, and I have found myself constantly intrigued by her inner thoughts. Her thoughts often explain her fears and struggles, and it creates a more vulnerable character that the readers can relate to. For example, Starr elucidates on how she feels when people comment on her bravery when she says, “There’s that word again. Bravery. Brave peoples’ legs don’t shake. Brave people don’t feel like puking. Brave people sure don’t have to remind themselves how to breathe if they think about that night too hard. If bravery is a medical condition, everybody’s misdiagnosed me” (Thomas 284). While Starr tries to stay calm and collected on the outside, passages like this one convey her inner struggles. To other people, she is incredibly brave. However, for Starr, she is anything but. Starr is completely honest with her feelings, and this allows the reader to feel connected to her.

    Similarly to Isha’s comment, I found many examples of comic relief while reading “The Hate U Give.” The author often interrupts serious and grim scenes with moments of humor, and this writing method reminded me strongly of Shakespeare. An example of comic relief is found when Starr wonders what her mother could be posting about on Facebook in the midst of all the negativity around them. She thinks, “With everything that’s going on, what can she say? ‘Sekani saw cops harass his daddy, but he’s doing so well in school. #ProudMom.’ Or, ‘Starr saw her best friend die, keep her in your prayers, but my baby made the honor roll again. #Blessed.’ Or even, ‘Tanks are rolling by outside, but Seven’s been accepted into six colleges so far. #HeIsGoingPlaces.’” Starr’s humorous thoughts show clear comic relief and juxtaposition. Because this novel is a serious book about injustice, it is nice for the reader to be able to laugh once in a while.

    Overall, I have greatly enjoyed the second part of “The Hate U Give,” and I can’t wait to continue reading. Angie Thomas’ strong yet humorous voice is shown clearly through Starr, and the author’s craft is extremely impressive.

  10. miacremona

    The Hate U Give 2/3

    The second portion of The Hate U Give focuses mainly on Starr’s reaction to the shooting of Khalil by the police officer she refers to as 115. I enjoy Angie Thomas’s complex depiction of both mental and emotional issues that Starr faces as a response to the tragedy, as well as, again, broad contemporay issues directly paralleling today’s reality.

    I agree with Jackie in that Starr’s voice is so strong throughout the novel. In contrast with other books I have read, Starr’s emotions and characteristics are portrayed with an intricate subtlety that still manages to make an incredibly strong impact. Thomas is expertly able to tackle mental health issues such as post-tramautic stress disorder and anxiety as a result of the past tragedies she has experieced. For example, Starr awakes in panic after a nightmare about her former best friend Natasha, whose life was taken when the girls were children as a result of the prevalent gang violence and culture that is present in Garden Heights. Though Natasha was killed when Starr was in elementary school, the details and feelings related to her death remerge constantly in the aftermath of Khalil’s death.

    In addition, Starr’s anxiety is a consistent theme throughout the novel, as demonstrated by her paranoia regarding the possiblity of seeing police after establishing herself as a key witness in the shooting of Khalil. She considers the possiblity of “What if somebody knows I’m the witness? What if they know that it’s my fault that cop hasn’t been arrested? What if we come across some cops and they know who I am?” (Thomas 142). Starr not only demonstrates the effect of the incredibly stressful position she is in, but also a new form of her societal conflict between her communities. This time, she is crushed by expectations of an institution, the police department, and her community. Though she feels constricted by the harsh and sterile environment of the justice system, Starr’s ultimate goal is to able to secure some sort of societal change in response to the death of Khalil. Essentially, she begins to fear that her efforts and actions are, first of all, insufficient, and that she will never be able to live up to the epitome of a fighter for social justice in order to be able to seek retribution for Khalil’s death due to mental and emotional limitations.

    Furthermore, Starr’s relationship with her father remains a consistent topic throughout the novel. In the second chapter, both Starr and the reader are able to gain a new viewpoint on institutionalized racism and the larger systematic injustices occurring everyday that have been instituted centuries ago. In response to the betrayal Starr feels about Khalil having been a drug dealer, Starr’s father, Maverick, tells her that billion dollar drug industry is the reason that people like Khalil are forced to choose the path they do in life, to be able to survive among adverse circumstances. Maverick tells her that “That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life” (Thomas 170). I, and Starr, both realized the reasons behind the stereotypical depiction of certain youth seen as thugs because the life they life is the only choice they are given.

    Out of the book’s three sections, for me, the second third of The Hate U Give was the portion most full of revelations, both social revelations that Starr was inundated with, and complex characterizations that expertly bring to light Starr’s feelings and emotions after the prominent specific conflict of the novel.

  11. jackiebooth21

    3/3

    The last part of “The Hate U Give” has tied the whole book together in satisfying yet eye-opening ways. Angie Thomas’ impressive writing skills are even more obvious in this part of the novel, and I was constantly entertained and informed.

    In response to your comment, Isha, I also wondered about the reason behind Thomas’ formatting with the different “parts” of the book. The book is split into five parts, and each part is titled “1 month after it,” or “2 weeks after it,” and etc. I believe that Angie Thomas sorted the book this way in order to convey how significant Khalil’s death and trial was in Starr’s life. “It” refers to Khalil’s murder. I think Thomas included this to give the readers insight into Starr’s mind. Her whole life revolves around “it,” and it even seems as if Starr keeps track of time in reference to Khalil’s death. So, in answer to your question, I feel as if the different parts are used in order to show the impact Khalil’s murder has had on Starr’s life and psyche.

    In most of the novel, Starr has struggled with her identity. She has had two different personalities: Garden Heights Starr and Williamson Starr. It has been tiring and frustrating for Starr to realize her identity crisis, yet she never did anything about it. However, in the last part of the novel, Starr has been able to overcome her struggles and stay true to herself. After her friend Kenya offers Starr her opinion, Starr says, “If I face the truth, as ugly as it is, she’s right. I was ashamed of Garden Heights and everything in it. It seems stupid now though. I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me? That’s like being ashamed of myself” (Thomas 441). As this quote proves, Starr has finally learned to accept herself. This realization comes near the very end of the book, providing a resolved and conclusive finish for the reader.

    While I have enjoyed this book immensely, I have to give it an 8/10. Similar to what Isha said, I found that Angie Thomas often replaced one stereotype for another. I respected how she challenged stereotypes of black people, but she also confirmed certain stereotypes of white people through Starr’s judgemental view of rich white people at Williamson. In addition to this, I also found that the book was a little cliché at times. While Starr’s voice was powerful and effective, I think it was sometimes too “teenager-like.” It just seemed a little unprofessional and definitely cliché. However, Thomas’ writing was amazing, and I would definitely recommend this book. I agree with Isha that this book should replace “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” in our school curriculum.

  12. sofiatosoni

    2/3

    Throughout the second-third of the book, the unrest due to Khalil’s death grows. Protests and riots erupt all over Garden Heights, and Starr’s family begins to take precautions to ensure their safety. This includes staying at Carlos’s house over the weekend. One of the things that stood out to me the most was how contrasting Garden Heights and Carlos’s suburban neighborhood are portrayed. Starr notes, “I used to think the sun shone brighter out here in Uncle Carlos’s neighborhood, but today it really does—there’s no smoke lingering, and the air is fresher” (154). The chaos of the ghetto compared to the serenity of Uncle Carlos’s predominately white neighborhood highlights the not only race, but poverty struggle in many communities.

    This theme is also brought up when Maverick discusses the meaning of “Thug Life” with Starr. He discusses how drug problems can be the result of people who,” think they need them to survive, and then you got [those] who think they need to sell them to survive” (170). Those who need rehab cannot get it due to their poverty, all while drug dealers continue to sell drugs due to their poverty. Ultimately, the poverty in communities like Garden heights is a cycle that minorities have to fight against. The riots in Garden Heights are the result of resistance towards the hopeless system that caused Khalil to be shot as well as the negative predisposition towards minority groups. This theme is extremely relevant to today’s society, and I think it is beneficial how Angie Thomas has brought it to the attention of readers throughout this novel.

    On the issue of Starr’s outburst towards Hailey, I agree with Isha, that Hailey’s reaction to Starr was most likely the product of poor coverage by the press. I also believe that if Starr’s friends knew that she was connected to Khalil’s death they would have been more sensitive, but also that this line expresses that how stories are portrayed can have an effect on the viewer. Perhaps if Hailey had experienced the story from Starr’s perspective rather than the police officer’s father, she would have been more partial towards Khalil and the injustice of his case, rather than worrying only about how the case was affecting the officer and his family. Instead of seeing Khalil as only a drug dealer and thug, or how the media portrayed him, she could have viewed him as the innocent teenager he really was. It is possible Angie Thomas included this scene to highlight the fact that inaccurate coverage by the media can have a negative effect on cases just like Khalil’s.

    Overall, I thought that this section of The Hate U Give was extremely powerful, and continues to serve as an opportunity to inform readers of injustice of cases like Khalil’s.

    • sofiatosoni

      3/3

      While reading the third part of The Hate U Give, I noticed that many of the characters reach new chapters in their lives. For example, it starts off almost immediately with Starr’s family touring a potential new house in a different neighborhood. Previously, Maverick had resisted moving his family out of Garden Heights, because he felt that he had a duty to try and “fix” the many struggles within Garden Heights. Maverick says, “I realize being real ain’t got anything to do with where you live. The realest thing I can do is protect my family, and that means leaving Garden Heights” (308-309). Although this step may seem insignificant, I believe it sets a tone for the many changes to come in both Starr’s life and the atmosphere, particularly involving activism around Khalil’s case.

      For instance, one of the main reasons Maverick was resistant towards moving out of Garden Heights was because he wanted to change the atmosphere of the neighborhood. However, Maverick defied his own beliefs when he brought both the King Lords and Garden Disciples together, and united them towards the fight for justice. By putting his past beliefs behind him, Maverick became a leader, and urged the two gangs to put their territory wars aside for the sake of Garden Heights, and to unite against the poverty many of them were fighting against.

      Ever since she started attending Williamson, Starr had tried to keep her two lives, Garden Heights and Williamson, separate. However, in the third section of the book, her two worlds collide. At a Memorial Day barbecue hosted by Carlos, Starr’s Williamson friends and her boyfriend begin to intermingle with her family. Starr is apprehensive at first, and wonders which “Starr” she should be. But contrary to what she believed, Kenya, Chris, Maya, and Devante become quick friends, “My two worlds just collided. Surprisingly, everything’s all right” (359). Before, Starr had struggled with the separation between her two worlds, and ultimately changed herself to keep them separate. The newfound relationships between her friends, from both Garden Heights and Williamson, symbolize a new chapter in Starr’s life where typical stereotypes, black and white or wealthy and poor fail to play a role.

      Lastly, near the end of the book, Starr comes to a realization about her fight with justice for Khalil. At the Justice for Khalil protests, Starr encounters Ms. Ofrah. Starr comes to a realization that it is time for her to do more for the movement. She says, “During the other protests, I watched. And talked. So now I wanna do something” (410). Starr uses her newfound confidence to talk to the protesters of Garden Heights, as well as to the police about her experience. She hypes up the crowd with a chant for Khalil, until tear gas is used against them. Although Starr’s time in front of the crowd was short-lived, it was powerful. When Starr overcame her apprehensions about going public with her involvement in Khalil’s case, it acted as a symbol of a new chapter in her life, as well as her desire to do more for Khalil.

      I enjoyed this last section of The Hate U Give, as it gave closure and displayed growth for many characters in the book. Overall, I would give the book a 9/10 for the way it acts as an educational tool for situations involving police brutality and race issues. I think it could open eyes for many, just as it did for me.

  13. miacremona

    The Hate U Give 3/3

    The Hate U Give is a book that, most of all, caused me to think. About how I live in a world that is so vastly different from that of Starr Carter, the main character. I am able to get out of bed and know that I have enough food to eat, that I can leave my house without hearing gunshots, and that I can go to school in a place where I feel comfortable and not at all isolated from the majority of people there. But while my daily experiences are so unlike those of Starr Carter, I too have the fundamental passions that she does. The third and final part of The Hate U Give focuses on the actions Starr takes to fight for Khalil, and I agree with Sofia in that it demonstrates many new beginnings for multiple characters.

    The climax of the book certainly occurs when Starr and others are caught up in a riot. She begins to experience initial euphoria as she is able to speak and voice her opinion, describing “We head down the sidewalk, just walking with no particular place to go. It’s more crowded than I realized. About half the neighborhood is out here. I throw my hoodie over my hari and keep my head down. No matter what the grand jury decided I’m still ‘Starr who was with Khalil’ and I don’t wanna be seen tonight, just heard” (Thomas 392). Personally, Starr’s excitement was very characterized and I could most defintely tell her ability to overcome anxiety while in a heated and adrenaline-inducing sitaution. While Starr is never able to completely feel free of her grief, she is able to channel her anger in order to do what she believes is right and just.

    In addition, I felt that the riot scene also included some seemingly meaningless dialogue that paints a much larger picture. As Starr is walking with her white boyfriend Chris, an object of contempt for her father and occasionally her, he begins an interesting conversation with Starr’s brother Seven and the accompanying DeVante. The three begin illustrating stereotypes, a discussion culminating in the revelation of certain cultural differences as DeVante questions why white people have a supposed tendency of “‘…splitting up in situations when they clearly need to stick together;” (Thomas 400), while Chris inquires as to “Why do some black people give their kids odd names?'”(401).

    While this funny, albeit awkward situation seems awkward for some, it also highlights the stereotypes and implicit biases of this generation in what normality is. For some, the standard and stereotype-based white American family is the epitome of stabilty, while to real people like Starr, life in a dangerous part of town and so-called “odd” names are what they have grown up with their entire life. So, the conversation betwen the teenagers is neither out of place nor merely humorous, but a real glimpse into the minds of American teenagers concerning bias and standards.

    The idea of replacing Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” was a prevalent thought lingering in my head through my reading of The Hate U Give. Like Isha and Jackie, I most definitely agree that The Hate U Give is a much better option for the freshman curriculum. It is a relavent and readable novel with an incredibly story not marred by an author accused of sexual assault and taking advantage of women through power, but a young and intelligent woman of color who continues to tell stories of the struggles of marginalized communities in a contemporary setting. The Hate U Give is beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, with a character who is incredibly dynamic and complex.. While Starr Carter lives in a world far away from that of the suburban paradise we call Lake Oswego, Oregon, her story transcends all social and culminates in a relatable teenage identity that will no doubt spur numerous thought-provoking discussions and sentiments which we can all apply to our real worlds.

  14. alexandrastearns2124

    The Hate U Give Post 3/3

    I would have to agree with Isha and say that the last part of this novel was dramatic and suspenseful. I was constantly entertained throughout the entirety of the novel, but the ending was where I wanted to read the fastest. The splitting up of parts reminded me of the divisions in The Book Thief, where each part focused on a particular important part of the plot. However, unlike The Book Thief, the author of The Hate U Give tied the book together through her writing, revealing a satisfying ending that is truly eye-opening.

    Apart from Starr’s battle against racism in her life, she has struggled with her identity all throughout the book. Her two differing personalities come out at different times, and they are divided by the environment that she is in, whether that is Garden Heights or Williamson. Over time, her identity has become a mix of both, and so has the story, with characters from different parts of Starr’s life interacting. I agree with Isha’s points on stereotypes showed by the scene when Seven, Chris, Devante, and Starr are together. Their varying personalities give them all tolerance towards each other.

    I also noticed the quote that Jackie analyzed: “If I face the truth, as ugly as it is, she’s right. I was ashamed of Garden Heights and everything in it. It seems stupid now though. I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me? That’s like being ashamed of myself” (441). It stood out to me as a lesson that is a little cliché, but Thomas’ writing makes it a powerful reveal. Starr’s struggle internally has been brought about by the disaster of Khalil, but it has also revealed how strong she is, as well as many of the other characters.

    Laws in place in the modern day state that all people should be given equal treatment, but that is obviously not the case. Reliability and trust in the justice system is questioned when the jury makes the officer who shot Khalil not guilty. Starr reveals what all the readers are thinking and thinks in anguish, “I told the truth. I did everything I was supposed to do, and it wasn’t f****** good enough. Khalil’s death wasn’t horrible enough to be considered a crime. But damn, what about his life? He was once a walking, talking human being. He had a family. He had friends. He had dreams. None of it f****** mattered. He was just a thug who deserved to die” (388).

    This book made me squirm in frustration at the horrors that occurred in Garden Heights, and it makes me angry that these chilling actions take place in real life every day. I also want this novel to be added to the Freshman curriculum here at LO, since racism has been a problem here before. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would rank it at a 9/10, only because there were some parts that were highly stereotypical towards certain races. In the future, I wish for my grandfather to read this book because he is a retired police officer. I think that it would give him a really unique point of view, and I want to see his reaction to how the author portrays police officers.

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