Poverty and Child Development Essay

Poverty and Child Development Essay

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From the very second I was born, until this very day, I had understood life to be a certain way. Life had taken its course and my family, as well as myself, have suffered ups and downs. We’ve been through times which were good and which were the worst of the worst – all families do. What I didn’t know is that regardless of the good and the bad, that the life I lived was sheltered to the point where I couldn’t fathom the idea that all people had not lived a life similar to ours. Sure, I understand that some were more fortunate and some were less fortunate, but to which extent? Within my circle of influence, our friends and family, there was a certain level at which we enjoyed our lives in a comfortable sense. We’d occasionally see a homeless person on the subway or in the city, but I never knew that there was a whole class of people in between. I’ve always heard of poverty and didn’t know much more about it except for the fact that people existed that were less fortunate, those who lived in this supposed poverty.
     Jonathan Kozol’s book “Amazing Grace” depicts the issues that face families who are living in a world of poverty, homelessness and in a world where less fortunate is an understatement. Kozol writes about his experience in the South Bronx where he comes across some of the most disturbing facts about our fellow human beings. He speaks of families who live in an undernourished, impoverished society where a great majority of the inhabitants have been faced with disease. He visited a building in which one particular family has contracted the HIV virus. A woman contracted AIDS from her husband who she thought was faithful. Her daughter later contracted the deadly virus when she was raped by the father. In fact, in his conversation with a nurse who takes care of Alice Washington, a woman that Kozol interviews, in this building there are “Including the children, maybe 27 people” (Kozol p. 13, in Amazing Grace) She continues to say “There’s lots of other people have it but don’t know.” People are so under-educated and under-privileged in the society where they live, that they are afraid to even find out if they have contracted the disease. This brings us to another problem that the families here are faced with, deprivation of help from the government.
     Although Jonathan Kozol implies that there may...


... middle of paper ...


... problems with women who have children out-of-wedlock. Although she defends the fact that they shouldn’t be judged as a whole because of that fact, it seems to me that she feels strongly about traditional family settings including a two parent, heterosexual household. Sidel also comes across as someone who has a hint of religion in her values. Personally, I agree more with the liberal standpoint. I feel that all people should be equal, especially since we’re all citizens of the same city, nation, and world. I believe we should have the same opportunities, almost as much as I believe that those who want to achieve something in live – will take the initiative and shape their destiny to reach their goals.


Bibliography

Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace. NewYork: Crown, 1995. 1-24.
Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace. NewYork: Crown, 1995. 27-54.
Sidel, Ruth. “The Enemy Within” Keeping Women And Children Last. NewYork:      Penguin, 1998. 1-32.
Surgrue, J. Thomas. “Poor Families in an Era of Urban Transformation.” American      Families. Stephanie Coontz, Maya Parson, Gabrielle Railey, Routledge, 1999.      243-257.

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