The short story ”The Baddest Dog in Harlem” is written by Walter Dean Myers. In the story a young boy and a dog dies , because of police shootings in Harlem, which they also focuses on.

The main themes in this text are police brutality, friendship, shooting and racism. In this analysis I will focus on the setting, the tone of the voice, personal characteristics and the message.

The setting of the story is taking place in Harlem. The story starts on 145th Street outside Big Joe’s place (Page 15, Line 1-3).

The themes in the story are police brutality, friendship, shooting and racism. Friendship is the first theme in the story, the story starts where everyone sits outside Big Joe’s place and talks about who the best fighter is.

Shooting is the second theme and the third theme police brutality is very similar, because a young innocent boy got shot by the police.

Racism is the fourth and last theme the police checks is Willie for something illegal, even though the police had no reason to check him for illegal stuff .

In the story we don’t get to hear anything about the time it’s all happening in. That could mean, that it’s not important for the story, because the main message is:

Nothing will ever change. In the past, in the present and in the future nothing will ever change. That’s because it could have happened in the past, it could happen right now and it could happen in the future.

The song “American Skin” by Bruce Springsteen is a song, that is so comparable to the story “The Baddest Dog in Harlem”.