I find the character of Strike quite interesting. Strike is young at 19 years, although older than DeAndre in The Corner, yet he seems to have a bit of world experience at the beginning of the book. He is not directly involved in the drug trade yet as he only handles finances, but he seems to understand the way that power works. Yet, unlike perhaps the other drug dealers we have read about, Strike has a very obvious weakness: his speech impediment. Strike’s uncontrollable stuttering presents him as weak to other characters. The exposition of the novel explains that this hurt him in school, and that he had been improving ever since he left. I think that the speech issue is also a  manifestation of other flaws. While Strike seems at least partially confident, his insecurity is apparent in his speech. This insecurity also surfaces when Strike instructs Victor to kill Darryl Adams. Strike seeks Darryl’s death because of petty jealousy, and he does not thoroughly think out the decision. In fact, almost immediately after talking to Victor, Strike begins to have second thoughts. Unlike the other tough-guy drug dealers, Strike cannot hide his fear and nerves. Perhaps Strike reveals that all of the drug dealers have weaknesses, they are just less obvious. Strike’s stuttering demonstrates the flaws and insecurity in his own character, and in the greater world of the drug trade.

2 responses to “Strike

  1. The most interesting point that you made was about how Strike reveals that maybe all drug dealers have a weakness. This humanizes Strike. Instead of viewing him as a drug dealer, the reader gets to view him as a person. This is perhaps a social commentary by Simon.

  2. I agree that this is an interesting perspective on all drug dealers. From all of the ones we have read about, they have started dealing at young ages. Although they seem mature in the sense that they are able to understand the business of the streets, each character is not fully developed maturally. It seems that a theme that occurs from the books we have read is that the streets pull in young boys who are confused as to how to succeed in life and leave the projects for different reasons.