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In “Homecoming” Boggs writes about how one’s family history can influence the decisions one makes in life. In Boggs’ story, Marcus, the main character, comes from a broken family where both of his parents are in jail. Tiff, Marcus’s aunt whom he lives with when both of his parents are sent to jail, ends up stashing Papo’s (her boyfriend) cocaine in her refrigerator, and causes Papo to go to jail.

Marcus has high expectations for himself despite certain limitations that might hold him back, like his family’s history with drugs and spending time in jail, the lack of having a car, and the constant guilt he feels about sending his hard-earned money to his mother. Marcus is described as being a “good boy” (131) and a “solid B student.” (131) When he begins to sell drugs for money with his friend, Wally, he understands that what he is doing is wrong, but in a way, he still sets a standard for what he is and is not willing to do in this immature action he partakes in.

“…if we get some more stuff. We could get some pills, some coke, maybe some heroin.” 

Marcus thought about Skinny, what he’d said about being a junkie. “I don’t want to deal heroin,” he said quietly. (166)

Due to the unfortunate circumstances of Marcus’ family history with getting into legal trouble, it seems inevitable that Marcus, a good student and athlete, will make the same poor decisions his family (mother, father, aunt) has made. This circumstance makes the reader think that Marcus will live his life getting into legal trouble, much like his parents. Boggs’ references to Marcus’s family throughout the story indicate that, although Marcus has a lot going for him, he will never be able to escape from his family’s past, which is formed through bad decisions and habits. Before the night of homecoming reaches an end, the reader already anticipates the outcome of Marcus’ bad decision to sell drugs at the school. “Some people he told to take just one; others he dealt to silently, accepting their praise stone-faced and serious.” (164) The reader already has an idea that, at some point, Marcus will be caught and punished for selling drugs at his school. The influence that Marcus’ family has in his life has already begun to do its damage, and the reader can foresee that Marcus will probably live a life very similar to that of his parents.


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