Education and The Game:
When the Unwilling Can’t be Saved and the
Desperate Can’t Escape
Kathryn Dillin
hen thinking about education and “The
Game,” immediately we tend not to think of
college or university, but rather grade
school, most commonly middle school. This type of a
response is typical and following a cohort of eighth-
graders is one focus of Season Four of the HBO series
The Wire. In a city like Baltimore, where the
predominant notion is to prevail in The Game rather
than the school system, students fall through the
cracks consistently, if not constantly. In the larger
scheme of the world, this is seen as an issue that
needs a resolution, but before a resolution can be
found, the problem and origin of such should be
identified and discussed. In the following essay, my
aim is to demonstrate the complexities of educating
young students involved in The Game, to discuss
whose responsibility this is in The Wire, to address the
option of escaping The Game to further a student’s
education, and, in sum, to explore why this enterprise
is sometimes classified as “impossible.”
Complexity A Child of The Game
The concept of furthering an education is foreign
to most children of The Game, but an education is likely
what would help them the most. Though education is
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