In this analytic essay, I will firstly describe what the story “The Baddest Dog in Harlem” is about. This is followed by an analysis where I focus on the setting and the tone of voice in the story. Lastly, I will draw parallels to the song “American Skin (41 shots)” by Bruce Springsteen.
”The Baddest Dog in Harlem” is a novel written by Walter Dean Myers, who was a writer of chil- dren’s books and young adult literature. The story is about a group of black men and one these black men is the main character in the story. In the beginning, the main character and his group of friends are in front of a restaurant called “Big Joe’s Place”, where a big discussion suddenly starts.
The discussion starts because of a disagreement within the group of who is the best fighter of all time. Suddenly, the police show up to the place and starts asking the group some questions.
After the first policemen have showed up, more police appear. This makes the group very confused, but they are also forced by the police to stand still.
The police are looking for a specific man, and they thought that one of the black men in this group was that man. This is until they suddenly hear a sound from an apartment window near the restaurant.
The police then start to shoot at the window, but the owner of the apartment arrives and asks what they are doing. They all go towards the apartment window and they see that the wanted man was not there, but they had instead shot a dog. The nameless first-person narrator also sees a man who was shot, but amongst the people on the street, no one knows about this man.