Mongo

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“Then power walked in the door: a short, stocky, smooth-skulled black man wearing a full-length leather trench coat accompanied by a tall, large, well-dressed sidekick…

The bald man in the trench coat gave his name to the receptionist: Adolph Mongo.” (60)

 

LeDuff’s introduction of the controversial Detroit figure Adolph Mongo set him up to be one of the most compelling characters in the novel. It is made clear that although Mongo is sketchy and sneaky, he is also smart. He only pops up in the novel from time to time, and only for brief moments. But when he does, he usually offers candid commentary that is refreshing to the reader (indeed, LeDuff even refers to him as “the inebriated uncle at the funeral shouting all the things people wished they could say.” [101]), since most of the powerful people in the novel often offer nebulous and circular dialogue or messages in general. Additionally, perhaps he is one of the most compelling characters in the novel because he is one of the few who actually seems to know what he is doing; in a setting where unorganization seems to be flirting with anarchy, Mongo knows what his intentions are how to accomplish them, despite the quality of the morals that accompany those intentions. 

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