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The Hands of Poverty - Essay Example

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Poverty is one of the most prevalent problems of all time. In fact, as early as the 1800’s there have been reports relating to hunger and resulting death. While it is true that the economy has improved the lives of many people, poverty still exists. …
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The Hands of Poverty
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Download file to see previous pages While it is true that the economy has improved the lives of many people, poverty still exists. Many networks attempts to provide the basic needs of the poor – clothing, food, shelter – but the number of people who needs assistance is still higher compared to those who are being serviced. This paper critically analyzes the essay written by Jane Addams entitled “The Hands of Poverty”. Written in 1910, during the height of industrialization, the essay provides valuable insights on the lamentable situation of many citizens of East London. In this essay, Addams talks about her first experience in East London when she became eyewitness to the poverty afflicting Londoners. Here, she describes how everyone had to fend for themselves: how the “submerged tenth” (Addams 258) were forced to eat decaying fruits and vegetables while auctioneers had to endure the suffering of their countrymen in order to bring food to their own tables. Addams is making a point about how poverty serves to diminish humanity, because it makes people act more like animals than men. Addams’ essay had a referential purpose. Written objectively, Addams talks about the two faces of East London, one which is seen by tourists like herself, and the other one which is experienced by the city’s residents. ...
The secondary purpose for this essay was expressive. The writer hoped to show how much the scene has affected her. Perhaps, it was also a way for her to explain why she did what she did in later life. Addams went on to become a social activist (Knight) and has often referred back to this experience in her other works (Bettis). Addams went on to describe her experience in the city and how it created an impact on her life. Her use of first person pronouns made the essay more personal. This essay was also used an evaluation pattern. She related her own judgement of the scene she wrote about. Though she did not explicitly say that she “hated” what she saw, she used words like “wretchedness of East London” to depict her disdain at the scene unfolding before her. This pattern combined with the secondary pattern described below gave information to the reader, and at the same time allowed the reader to experience the same emotions and convictions as the writer. Moreover, the essay also had descriptive pattern because of her choices for words she used the word “clamoring” to describe how these bidders were shouting just to get their hands on a cheap piece of vegetable or fruit which is the only thing they could purchase with the money they had. To show how hungry these people were she described a winner of a bid who “tore [the cabbage] with his teeth, and hastily devoured it, unwashed and uncooked” (Addams 257). Addams used strong words to describe the scene, and in effect, she transported the reader to the same instant that she witnessed, giving the reader the same feeling of contempt for the prevailing system of poverty and hunger. In the latter part of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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