Essay about A Life of Poverty: Childhood Traumas inThe Working Poor

Essay about A Life of Poverty: Childhood Traumas inThe Working Poor

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In The Working Poor by David K. Shipler, Shipler analyzes the effects of poverty and the accountability of working poor in America. Chapter six of the book focuses on traumas of childhood that affect the later life of a person. In this chapter, Shipler speaks of sexual abuse within families, neglectful parenting, and other factors that contribute to a poverty-stricken life. He gives real-life experiences and the effects that an individual’s childhood has had on his or her life. Although his examples are based on real lives of the poor in America, it appears as though he has found the most extreme cases. While these situations are horrible, not all poverty-stricken people are classified under these extreme conditions. Shipler offers excellent points and facts involving the traumas of childhood affecting the future, but fails to acknowledge that not all children will succumb to the struggles of poverty nor does he offer plausible solutions to his criticisms.
Throughout the chapter, Shipler displays an extreme liberal bias involving people in poverty. His view in this chapter is that the childhood majorly affects a person’s future. He states, “Their future is crippled by their past” (Shipler 143). This quote is somewhat true. The adolescence years are the most important in shaping a person. However, Shipler takes this idea to the extreme and makes it seem that if a person has a bad childhood, he or she will end up in poverty. One real life example he puts in this chapter is the story of Peaches. Peaches had never known her birth parents, lost her adopted family before she was five, and was forced into a foster home. Because of her dark skin she was discriminated against and also suffered from verbal and physical abuse. ...


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...erty. Shipler only focuses on the lifelong effect of those who did not escape the hands of poverty. He only appears to concentrate on the negatives of childhood traumas and provides readers with little hope that the children who fall victim to these situations will be able to overcome and amount to anything in life. Shipler points out some major players of poverty in this chapter, but ultimately fails to look at all views of childhood traumas or point the reader in which direction to go in order to attain a solution.



Works Cited

Shipler, David. The Working Poor: Invisible in America. First Vintage Books Ed. New York: Vintage Books, 2004. Print
Courrier, Kathleen. “Ain’t It Hard?” Issues in Science & Technology. 21.1 (2004): 91. EBSCOhost. Database. 12 Mar 2014.
Lenkowsky, Leslie. “Down & Out?” Commentary 117.5 (2004): 71-73. EBSCOhost. Database. 7 Mar 2014.

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