Gwendolyn Brooks' "We Real Cool" is a brief yet powerful poem that offers a life-learning message to its reader. Brooks' message is that dropping out of school and roaming the streets is not only not "cool," but also a dead end street. Brooks then goes on to say that although these young people were not able to check off the items on their college applications, they are still capable of learning if they try.
Brooks' poem has been interpreted in many ways by different readers. One interpretation is that the poem is encouraging students to stay in school and pursue their dreams. Another interpretation is that the poem is telling students that skipping class and hanging out with wrong friends will never help them reach their goals in life. Still another interpretation is that the poem is congratulating these young people for realizing that school isn't for everyone and deciding to drop out instead.
Whatever interpretation you give to this poem, it makes an important point: School may not be for everyone, but going to school is always better than staying home alone. Also, listening to what teachers have to say is very important because they can guide you down right paths or tell you about things that you might not have thought of. Finally, reading good books and using your imagination are ideas that can help you learn even outside of the classroom.
We're Very Cool One of the most contentious issues in the United States has been teen dropouts. This irrational behavior has terrible consequences. Gwendolyn Brooks uses repetition in her poem "We Are Real Cool" to underline the repercussions of dropping out of school. The first line repeats the word real eight times: real, real, cool, cool, real, real, cool.
The poem describes how an entire community has been affected by one young man's decision to quit school. He becomes a street performer who steals attention away from more educated performers - thus, destroying the only world that guy knows. Even though he tries to act like an adult, nobody takes him seriously because he's not enrolled in school.
Brooks' poem is very political because it expresses how violence can come about when there are no rules or regulations within society. When people break the law they put themselves in danger of being arrested or killed by police officers. In today's society, there are many instances where illegal activities occur and nobody gets punished for them.
Additionally, the poem shows how education is important because without it anyone could end up on the streets performing tricks. There would be no way to make a living if everyone stopped getting educated after elementary school.
Finally, the poem reveals how youth culture affects individuals and groups alike.
The teenaged lads in "We Really Cool" form their identity by rebelling against the schooling system and dropping out of school. Their group identity depends around having a good time: staying up late, "striking straight," which means fighting, "sin" (presumably sexually), drinking, and listening to jazz. In addition, they share an interest in boxing.
The boys' identity is constructed through various actions performed by each one of them. They strike straight because that's what guys do. They stay out late because that's how guys show they're cool. They drink beer because that's what guys do. And they listen to jazz because that's what guys like us like to do.
By acting like real men, the boys construct their identity as being real men. This identity helps them deal with the bullying they receive from other students who may call them sissies or babies. By showing others that they can fight, drink, stay up late, and be sexually active, these teens prove that they are not little girls; thus, they reject female gender roles and embrace male ones.
Additionally, by being real men, the boys also reject traditional African American identity structures. Although they claim to be black, they refuse to act like blacks - specifically, black adults - by rejecting stereotypes about racial purity. They also refuse to act like whites by refusing to work for free.