All American Boys, the Hate U Give: the Issues of the American Society

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Hate U Give: Starr Carter's Battle Between Silence and Justice
  • All American Boys: Witnessing Police Brutality
  • Conclusion


In the three books, The Hate U Give, All American Boys, and A Thousand Splendid Suns, the protagonists are faced with a challenge that initially goes against how friends, society, and family think they should handle it. Each one of them is conflicted with what is the right thing to do and if it will cause another conflict elsewhere. They struggle with trying to figure out if they are going to tell the events to the world and this causes inner conflict within themselves. Throughout each novel, the conflict is resolved and the protagonist is changed significantly by the outcome. However, the choices they decide to make could change their lives drastically.

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The Hate U Give: Starr Carter's Battle Between Silence and Justice

First, in The Hate U Give, the protagonist Starr Carter is faced with a challenge when Khalil, one of her best friends, is killed right in front of her. Throughout the novel she struggles with the whole course of events. She is conflicted when she needs to decide if she is going to tell the events of the night Khalil was killed or not. She has two sides to her, Williamson Starr and Garden Heights Starr, where she must act a certain way with different groups of people. “If it's revealed that I was in the car, what will that make me? The thug ghetto girl with the drug dealer? What will my teachers think about me? My friends? The whole fucking world, possibly?” (P.113). This quote describes how Starr initially doesn’t know how to react with the thoughts about her being exposed. She’s torn between getting justice for Khalil or staying quiet to keep herself safe from the predominant gang in her neighborhood, the King Lords. She is also very self-conscious about the information getting out because she is afraid that she will be looked at differently in the Williamson community. “That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?”(P. 252). This quote shows how Starr realized that she shouldn’t stay quiet. Khalil needed justice and she spoke out on it, no matter what the consequences were. She has matured and feels as if she doesn’t need to change for anyone anymore. She has finally grappled with the fact that she is one Starr and one Starr only.

All American Boys: Witnessing Police Brutality

Second, in All American Boys, the protagonists Quinn Collins and Rashad Butler and they are faced with an incident of police brutality. Rashad, who is in the ROTC program, was a victim of police brutality and Quinn, your average white boy, was there to witness it. They were both living normal lives before this incident. Quinn is conflicted with whether or not he should tell the world that he was a witness to the beating of Rashad. He doesn’t know what to do because the officer who attacked Rashad is the brother of his best friend and father figure, Paul Galluzzo. “I felt like such an ass. I'd quickly convinced myself I had no idea who that kid with Paul was that night.”


Last, in A Thousand Splendid Suns, in all three books each protagonist is faced with a situation that goes against everything they stand for. Each protagonist handles each situation differently and it changes them significantly.   

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