In present day Detroit, most people only focus on the negatives, seeing a huge difference in how the city is today and the way it was in the 1930s; There were more people on the streets, maybe more high class places to shop, and there also seemed to be a lot less poverty because the industry in Detroit was booming and the job opportunities were much more prevalent. Having these thoughts in mind, many citizens and even authorities have ‘given up’ on Detroit. It is assumed that the future of Detroit is dark and it will be nearly impossible to turn things around. I think that the descriptions of the ghettos of Detroit in book 2, like when the streetcar seemed to cross an invisible barrier to where bricks were crumbling from structures and there was trash all around (Eugenides 141), give light to the idea that even when the city was not in times of extreme hardship, it was very similar to the way things are now. There are still very nice areas in Detroit, but in as little as a block, just as it is described in book 2, you could find yourself in a poverty stricken area that makes many people very uncomfortable. The idea that I am trying to convey is that all ‘nice’ large cities have areas of extreme poverty and always will; I see an unsung message in the writing that say no matter if times are not so pressing, as they were when the slums of Detroit are described in book 2 or if they are very hard as they are now, there will always be hope for a city that gave so much to the world.
– Jake Morse