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The poem “We Real Cool”, written by Gwendolyn Brooks, is about a group of seven young boys who abandoned school to live the street life. All they care about is themselves and satisfying their wants. The only thing they think is that of going out to party, drinking, and listening to jazz music all night long. This poem informs us of what is going on with the young generation. It sends a life learning message to the reader. We get to know that dropping out of school in order to embrace the street life amounts to nothing in the end.
The key significance of this poem is that lack of education is the beginning of a downward spiral, which eventually leads to death. This is because one cannot secure employment, and the quality of one’s conversations is poor as depicted by the English in the poem. It teaches us that dropping out of school has long term consequences. These follow you after you have the abundant life that you have left school for.
This poem is necessary in instructing us that in life we should avoid self-destructive behaviors like drinking, staying out at night, or using vulgar language. We must know that this life is only golden for a while, but eventually leads to the grave. A life without proper direction leads to sure death. When one acts too cool for his or her own enjoyment, he or she ends up in tragedy. People, who stay out on the street and think they are bigger and better than everyone, amount to nothing. As well as those, who engage in behaviors like dropping out of school, lack common sense, and do not like tedious work like going to school. They think materially and do not see the future. Death is lurking in the horizons as a sure outcome of their behavior. It is waiting for all those who throw away their lives to engage in wayward behavior. We learn that life is all about choices. These young players chose to leave school to live a life on the streets.
This poem also teaches us to avoid unscrupulous company. These boys were seven who had probably deceived each other to drop out of school. We learn that we must be exceedingly careful of the kind of company that we keep. This is because we may live the “golden life” together, but when doomsday comes, everyone is alone. This gets seen in the poem, where most stanzas end with “we”, but “die soon”, which is the last stanza, does not have “we” at the end. This means that as much as you may have fun as a group, everyone perishes alone. We may do foolish things together for a long time, but we account for them alone. When consequences of actions come back to haunt the dropouts, everyone has to carry their own cross.
Through this poem, we simply learn that without school there is no direction. Without a direction there is no life, and without life we are dead.
When I read this poem I feel that it is not too harsh or judgmental. It portrays that there is still hope for the future. The poem “We Real Cool” is a cry for help to the young not to throw away their lives. I feel that this poem is an encouragement. It is also a lesson. We are meant to learn a lesson through others. This is so as to make sure that we avoid them at all cost. The writer is trying to bring to light behaviors that can cause young children to throw away their future. It shows us methods that are not appropriate in dealing with tough life situations. However tough life is, we must not substitute it with activities that cause us harm. The easy things in life lead to death, while the difficult ones, like school, give us a hope and a future. The speaker is trying to reach all of us in a personal way. This is so that we can avoid such situations and even warn others, who are at a risk of the same scenarios. This poem is a teaching to the most influential generation of our time. These are the leaders of tomorrow, who have slowly become an endangered species.