Dave at night
What was the world like at this time? What was daily life like? How was it different than today?
The story took place in the North, and in the north African Americans were free and respected most of the time. People had rent parties and they were into jazz music. Kids weren’t treated equal to adults, and especially not at any orphanage. Dave and the orphanage boys weren’t treated fairly, Mr. Doom could hit them, hurt them, and do whatever he wanted to them, whenever he wanted too. “ For a second everything went black. When I opened my eyes, he was standing over me with a yardstick raised over his head. And I realized-he didn’t care what he did to me.” Also, they had bullies that bossed them around ate their lunch. “ When my plate was clean Moe started on his own. I moved my fork to his plate too. Fair is fair. When my fork touched Moe’s plate, I saw Fred nudge his brother to watch. “Don’t”. Moe moved my hand away from his food.” They had bad teather’s, so they didn’t learn anything, except in art class. Their life was so much worse than today. Today we have good teachers, adults weren’t allowed to hurt us, and everyone is equal, even if you're a kid.
What are some of the historical references presented in the book you read?
Dave at Night took places during the Harlem Renaissance. This is where African Americans started to sprout new artistic work like jazz and poetry. When Dave went to his first party, he heard jazz. It was very popular at the time because the new style of music sounded really good. Many people would request songs at parties like they did on page 89, “‘Play ‘Cake Walking Babies.’” “Do that Also, many people heard poetry. Authors like Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois were really popular and many people would read their poems. It was just amazing to think how the artistic culture of the African Americans became so popular in a small period of time.
Who has power? Why? Does this change by the end of the story?
In the beginning of the story all of the adults had the power, they had money, and homes, especially Mr. Doom. Mr. Doom had freedom to do whatever he wanted and Dave and the boys at the hhb had nothing and no freedom. However, Dave started to gain more and more power and by the end of the story it all changed. Dave and the orphanage boys had a lot of power, they even scared away the bullies. Also, Irma Lee, Dave’s friend he met by sneaking out, and her mom had a lot of power, and a lot of it came from being rich and famous. But solly also had power even though he wasn’t rich. In the end of the story Solly, Irma Lee and her mom, and Dave, teamed up to take away Mr. Doom’s power, freedom, and ability to do harm to the boys. Eventually they did so and they now have all the power instead of Mr. Doom.
What is the theme of the story?
I think the theme of Dave at Night is friendship and loyalty. To always stick by yours friends and others that really care about you, because if you do, in the end, everything will turn out alright. That’s exactly what happened to Dave, he decided to stay with his buddies even though it was rough at the orphanage, and in the end it all worked out for him.
What did you notice about the relationships between the main character and the other important groups or other people in the story?
I notice that Solly is caring to Dave. One example of this is when Solly took Dave under his wing on the first time they met. Dave picked up a dollar and Solly let him have it. Solly took Dave under his wing by giving him food and money. Not many strangers do that! Also, not many strangers would say that they are a random orphans grandfather, but Solly did. This shows how much Solly cares for Dave and how kind he is.
Another relationship that Dave has with a character in the book is Mr. Bloom. Mr. Bloom is really mean to Dave. This can be shown on page 104. The whole page is the fighting scene between Dave and Mr. Doom. Mr. Doom didn’t care about Dave so he hurt him. This had a negative effect on Dave because fighting with Mr. Doom made Dave hate Mr. Bloom even more.
Did the author use symbolism?
One example of symbolism in the book Dave at Night is the carving made from his dad. This carving resembles all that Dave has. On page 54 it says
“Finally the buddies drifted back to their beds, and gradually the feeling in the room changed as they fell asleep. I heard snoring. Someone whimpered. Someone coughed. The room was so big it was almost like sleeping outside. It was so cold and humid that sleet could have started coming down. One blanket wasn’t enough. I put a pillow over my head to block out everyone’s noise and to keep my ears warm.
I swore an oath, whispering to the thin mattress. I would take back the carving and get out of here.”
This passage shows how cold the orphanage is and how lonely it is. The carving resembles so much of him that he thinks the only thing he needs is the carving and he will be fine. The carving is almost like a suitcase with all his belongings. Also, when he says
‘’I swore an oath, whispering to the thin mattress. I would take back the carving and get out of here.”It shows that even though he could escape right then and there, he couldn’t because the carving is like a piece of him that would be left behind.