Just Kids Analysis

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In the book, Just Kids, Patti Smith elaborates on the successes and struggles that she and Robert Maplethorpe experienced throughout their amateur life in New York City. These two icons lived in the city during the 60s, 70s, and parts of the 80s — an era of counter-culture where rebellious artists took up various drugs and acted out against the government. Ranging from music, art, photography, and filmmaking, they were molded into the individuals they turned out to be in the end. The duo lived in many houses, apartments, squatters, but one “home” or “shelter” made a lasting impact on them artistically — the Chelsea Hotel. Evidently, Smith and Maplethorpe shared an intense and never-ending ambition that helped them connect and work toward…show more content…
One who has great ambition is Robert Maplethorpe, as he will do anything to become a successful artist. Robert’s ambition stems from his strict Catholic parents who do not accept his life choices (Smith 67). Robert had a chip on his shoulder and yearned to prove them wrong in any instance he got. Although Maplethorpe has his head on his shoulders, every person goes through downhill battles. When Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorpe arrived at the Chelsea Hotel, Robert was in his darkest and lowest point in life. Maplethorpe was ill with gum disease and had an incredibly high fever. The couple decide to move to the Allerton, which was known for it’s ragged look and the housed homeless drug users that inhabited the walls (Smith 86). At one of Robert’s most painful moments, Patti comes into a crossroads of providing Robert with morphine or leave the Allerton. The morphine dealer at the Allerton, the Morphine Angel, tells Patti to leave immediately and go to the Chelsea Hotel. Both Robert and Patti had no idea what the Chelsea Hotel had in store for them, but they did know one thing — they were together. Robert knew that they were both going to survive, as he states, “We’re going to make it, Patti” (88). Although both Smith and Maplethorpe went through expansive struggles, their ambition for stardom and success had just begun the moment they stepped into the lobby of the Chelsea
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