We Real Cool

Is Being Real Cool a Value One Should Have?

As we found out on the first day of class, each individual has their own values. While I may value love, leisure, and intelligence, my classmate may find more significance in money, spirituality, and creativity. Within each book and poem that we read in class, we were able to draw out different values that each character portrayed. Some values were obvious while others were not. The one reading I found very appealing and filled with values was "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks. What intrigued me was how some of the values the poem’s characters possessed were not the typical choice one would assume. To borrow a line from another reading, they seem to have taken “the road less travelled.”
"We Real Cool" definitely has a powerful message behind it. Gwendolyn Brooks illustrates the essence of troubled teenagers who value certain things many may not agree with. In addition, they will eventually suffer the ill-fated possibility that life renders a human being if they continue to keep the same values and live the lifestyle of the streets - death. Throughout the poem Brooks shows how the seven teenagers obviously value the things labeled “wealth or fun” more than those labeled “life, liberty, and truth.”
The teenagers are obviously not too fond about attending school. Therefore, they skip and find solace and pleasure at a pool facility. It seems as if the teenagers really do not care about their education and go day by day living a carefree lifestyle. The happiness that they are feeling by playing pool supports that theory. They sing. They drink. In all, they do anything to capture that feeling of ecstasy. A nonchalant attitude about the players' persona clearly resonates throughout the poem. While the kids consider this “happiness,” it seems to be more of a short-lived happiness compared to what I value in love, romance, or friendship.
In a more in depth analysis of the final line which refers to death, the subtitle...