After reading “Tits up in a Ditch” I feel like it was a social critique of the American dream. I think the author was trying to illustrate the plight of the lower class, and just how rigid the class structure in the US really can be for someone lacking and education. Although Dakota does not graduate from high school, she believes that through hard work everything will be fine. It is only after she can no longer support herself that she wishes that she would have finished high school. The Author shows us that the military becomes one of the only feasible options for someone without a high school diploma. The military is one of the few employers that can provide a livable paycheck without a high school diploma.
After Dakota becomes a single mother she is forced to leave the child with her grandparents to take care of it in order to go to boot camp and specialized training. This shows the vicious cycle created in single parent homes. As Dakota’s mother was unable to care for her she is not able to care for her own child. On top of that Dakota’s child like herself is put in a situation where it would grow up with the same lack of affection that she received, not to say that all single parent homes are bad but they just are not typically as nurturing as a two parent home. When we do see Dakota go to Iraq she is sent home without and arm is an extreme example of her “never gonna catch a break” situation. Her be crippled shows that even though the military gave her and opportunity to make more out of her life by providing her with skills. It also took that opportunity away by the fact that Dakota was placed in danger. Showing that the military is not always a good option and can leave a person worse than they started.