The hurtfulness of categorizing people into groups such as ‘homeless’ was something I had not thought much about, until Quindlen opened my eyes about the reality of being without a home. Quindlen begins her essay by describing a homeless person by her name, emphasizing that this woman has a name and is a human being just like everyone else. Her goal is to show us that we should be looking at the homeless as the individuals they are, rather than categorizing them all into one group. As Quindlen words it, “It has been customary to take people’s pain and lessen our own participation in it by turning it into an issue, not a collection of human beings” (Quindlen 214). By calling them homeless, we are labeling them by the issue, being without a home, rather than giving them their individuality. The problem is that “We turn an adjective into a noun: the poor, not poor people; the homeless, not Ann or the man who lives in the box or the woman who sle...
... middle of paper ...
... or a mailing address to which people can send the check—although I know that all these are important for survival. I’m talking about a home, about precisely those kinds of feelings that have wound up in cross-stitch and French knots on samplers: spelled out in fancy stitching and embroidered decorations” (Quindlen 215). It may be hard to understand the real difference between a house and a home because we have all grown up having both; but to someone without a house the difference is inevitable.
My view on the struggles that homeless people have to endure is very similar to that of Quindlen’s in her essay “Homeless”. The true meaning of having a house has completely changed over the years, and if people realized the real struggle that comes with being homeless, maybe they would understand how hurtful adjectives are when categorizing groups of people.
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