While reading Amazing Grace, one is unable to escape the seemingly endless tales of hardship and pain. The setting behind this gripping story is the South Bronx of New York City, with the main focus on the Mott Haven housing project and its surrounding neighborhood. Here black and Hispanic families try to cope with the disparity that surrounds them. Mott Haven is a place where children must place in the hallways of the building, because playing outside is to much of a risk. The building is filled with rats and cockroaches in the summer, and lacks heat and decent water in the winter. This picture of the "ghetto" is not one of hope, but one of fear. Even the hospitals servicing the neighborhoods are dirty and lack the staff that is needed for quality basic care. If clean bed sheets are needed the patients must put them on themselves. This book is filled with stories of real people and their struggles. Each story, though different in content, has the same basic point, survival.
On a tour given by Cliffie ( a 7 year old that Kozol met in the local church) , the reader gets to see the neighborhood through the eyes of a child. Cliffie shows the reader a once green park, that is now dried up and brown with teddy bears hanging from the limbs of tree branches com a children killed from that area. Further down the block, the place where they "burn bodies of people" is pointed out. It turns out that it was an incinerator for hazardous waste products transported from New York City hospitals. Nope, no bodies just things like the occasional amputated limb, fetal tissue, needles, soiled bedding, and used bandages are piled up until they can be burned. On days that they burn the air is heavy and...
... middle of paper ...
...he problems. The problems do not root from one individual nor do they stop at another, they are constantly reoccurring despite the different situations. This method just adds to the intensity of the problems. When you shut the book or go to sleep at night the problems do not just end, they keep on growing. Kozol leaves his stories without conclusions. He makes no assumptions, nor does he spiel some politically correct rhetoric as to how things could be better. The point is the shock that there is no easy solution. The problems never end. In the conclusion of his book he lists the names of all those who died within the time span it took to complete his book. The only conclusion he offers is a lists of senseless deaths that never ends.
Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation. New York: Harper, 1996.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace While reading Amazing Grace, one is unable to escape the seemingly endless tales of hardship and pain. The setting behind this gripping story is the South Bronx of New York City, with the main focus on the Mott Haven housing project and its surrounding neighborhood. Here black and Hispanic families try to cope with the disparity that surrounds them. Mott Haven is a place where children must place in the hallways of the building, because playing outside is to much of a risk.... [tags: Amazing Grace Essays Jonathan Kozol Papers]
1565 words (4.5 pages)
- Jonathan Kozol's book, Amazing Grace, analyzes the lives of the people living in the dilapidated district of South Bronx, New York. Kozol spends time touring the streets with children, talking to parents, and discussing the appalling living conditions and safety concerns that plague the residents in the inner cities of New York. In great detail, he describes the harsh lifestyles that the poverty stricken families are forced into; day in and day out. Disease, hunger, crime, and drugs are of the few everyday problems that the people in Kozol's book face; however, many of these people continue to maintain a very religious and positive outlook on life.... [tags: Sociology]
787 words (2.2 pages)
- Amazing Grace As part of the summer reading assignment this year, I read the book Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol. In this documentary-style book, he told about the horrible yet completely realistic conditions of the most poor, rundown neighborhoods and districts in New York City. Kozol wrote the book for the purpose of telling the stories of the children who lived in these parts of the city. He dedicated his work to those children and it was his goal to inform readers that slums were in fact in existence and the children who resided there did not deserve to live in such a poverty-stricken area. The question "Why should their childhood be different from others across t... [tags: Amazing Grace Essays]
809 words (2.3 pages)
- Using the themes we have examined in this course discuss the situation of the children in Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace. Who defines them as 'other'. How. What makes them feel like 'nobodies'. What makes them feel like 'somebodies'. What is the role of religion in this daily struggle for human dignity. Drugs, violence, prostitution, pollution, infestation, and sickness of all kinds are present in South Bronx, New York. Unfortunately, children are surrounded and involved in all these problems and more.... [tags: Race relations amazing grace report]
799 words (2.3 pages)
- Within the next few pages here I intend to address two issues. First I will try to give a personal review of what I saw this book to hold, and second I will try explain the revelence which this book has to the field of Public Administration. First try to picture children in a slum where the squalor in their homes is just as bad as that which is in the streets. Where prostitution is rampant, thievery a common place and murder and death a daily occurrence. Crack-cocaine and heroin are sold in corner markets, and the dead eyes of men and women wandering about aimlessly in the streets of Mott Haven are all to common., Their bodies riddled with disease, disease which seems to control the neighbor... [tags: Amazing Grace Essays]
1065 words (3 pages)
- Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace is a book that describes the everyday horrors and struggles for survival, for a group of elementary girls and boys who are growing up in the South Bronx, the poorest congressional district in the United States. "When you enter the train, you are in the seventh richest congressional district in the nation. When you leave, you are in the poorest." This unimaginable way of life seems normal to these children because they really don't know any better. Normal to them is sickness, drug abuse, pollution, death, welfare and violence.... [tags: Sociology]
1434 words (4.1 pages)
- Amazing Grace, written by Jonathan Kozol. At first glance, it seems that the author is going to take us on yet another journalistic ride through the land of the poor. Similar to the ones you read about, or hear in the news. However, this is not the case; the real underlying theme is what is society doing about the plight of the poor. Kozol uses the views of children to emphasize that these reports on living conditions are not being obtained by “disgruntled” adults, but from innocent, learning children whose only misfortune was being born to this particular area.... [tags: essays research papers]
1937 words (5.5 pages)
- Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace is a book about the trials and tribulations of everyday life for a group of children who live in the poorest congressional district of the United States, the South Bronx. Their lives may seem extraordinary to us, but to them, they are just as normal as everyone else. What is normal. For the children of the South Bronx, living with the pollution, the sickness, the drugs, and the violence is the only way of life many of them have ever known. In this book, the children speak openly and honestly about feeling 'abandoned', 'hidden' or 'forgotten' by our nation, one that is blind to their problems.... [tags: essays research papers]
1782 words (5.1 pages)
- World renown education reformer John Dewey once said "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." Such a statement holds quite the deal of weight when put on the scale of betterment. Although, research would tell a story of educational inequality that could be a death-blow to the lives of the very children caught in the midst of social discrepancies if Dewey 's quote is anything to refer to. Sociologist James Coleman and journalist Jonathan Kozol went out into the world of social variations at two drastically differing time periods in America in many walks of life.... [tags: Education, School, Jonathan Kozol, Teacher]
1132 words (3.2 pages)
- Amazing Grace is a story that addresses the poverty and poor conditions in the South Bronx, which has been left out in the cold and subjected to poverty and a lack of proper accommodations for its residents. The city became a refuge for the homeless that have been relocated from Manhattan in an effort to give the downtown area a more desirable appearance. With the residents of the Bronx struggling to survive in the environment they were born into, Johnathan Kozol gives us a glimpse into what life in the Bronx is like.... [tags: Drug addiction, Addiction, Heroin, New York City]
743 words (2.1 pages)