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A Corner Boy’s Education
By
Pri Surapaneni
BO’s The Wire is a collection of interwoven
plotlines, a fabric that gathers to represent the
plight of America’s urban poor. Seasons One
to Three provide insight into how citizens function
within institutions such as the Baltimore Police
Department, local docks, and political entities. Season
Four, however, addresses education, which is the very
outlet through which the youth should ideally escape
“The Game.” Of course, the ideal is far from reach on
The Wire, and the show criticizes formal education
practices, exposing the streets of Baltimore as a
second institution parallel to, and competitive with, city
schools. It is the aggregation of failing middle schools
and the gravitational pull of the street corner that
victimize urban youth and narrow the scope of their life
choices.
The Wire uncovers how individuals interact with
their respective institutions and exposes the
weaknesses of citizens as the product of the sullied
society in which they live. It is, however, explicitly
stated by David Simon in his 2006 interview with Slate,
that the show is about “the very simple idea that, in this
postmodern world of ours, human beings all of us
are worth less” (Bowden). He finds direct opposition
not to what modernization has done not to our society
but to the value of each individual life. Additionally, Ed
H
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