Marl Stanfield Character Analysis

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Marlo Stanfield is a unique character on The Wire. He depicts the epitome of what a criminal is and shows why those like Marlo commit crimes in the first place. Marlo was not in seasons one or two, however Marlo supports the themes in both seasons throughout the rest of the series. In season one, The Wire aims to present all of the situations and circumstances that lead people to crime and violence. In season two, violence is further looked at and is connected to the code of the streets. When his character is introduced, he is just another player in the drug and crime game. As the show progresses, we see how Marlo evolves and climbs the ranks in West Baltimore. Marlo welcomed many challenges, suppressed his emotions, and actively fought to …show more content…
Those like Marlo, in the drug-game or criminals, make “adjustments” as described by Merton in “Social Structure and Anomie”. They have adapted the culture goals and use wealth as a symbol of success however, “successful attainment of the goals are not available”2. This leads them to finding any means possible to obtain wealth, resulting in crime. There is usually a preferred way of getting to an end goal and those like Marlo participate in crime because the end will justify the means. Once a person partakes in crime, even more criminal activity is encouraged. An example of this is Marlo’s determination to expand his control and drug business. This led to the death of Proposition Joe who looked out for him, in order to gain a connect. Violence is intertwined with crime. Marlo especially exercises the use of violence to “prove heart and maintain and acquire reputation”3. This is an aspect of the subculture of violence according to Wolfgang and Ferracuti. Every action Marlo performs he understands will affect his reputation. His killings and acts of violence against people like Proposition Joe and Omar represent him making sure others know what he is capable of. Violence is also an element of the code of the