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Critical Book Review - Essay Example

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Saving Bernice: Battered Women, Welfare, and Poverty 1 Name: Institution: Saving Bernice: Battered Women, Welfare, and Poverty 2 Jody Raphael in her book Saving Bernice: Battered Women, Welfare, and Poverty, explicates the plight of women in a male domineered society…
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Critical Book Review
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Download file to see previous pages Additionally, she has challenged traditional views, as well as conservative and liberal stereotypes concerning people who depend on welfare (Raphael, 2000). She argues that impoverished women are neither lethargic nor paralyzed the poverty culture, but are trapped by husband batterers. This paper shall critically examine Raphael’s views in regard to psychological and sociological perspectives. This will help improve the understanding of the issues affecting the society that she has mentioned. “What are the most important concepts raised in the book and why are they important?” The book highlights significant sociological and psychological concepts. These concepts are fundamental because they help reveal the several challenges and abuses that the females face in the society. In the book, Raphael uses a vulnerable woman, Bernice, to reveal the challenges and experiences of women. This is of sociological value since she enables readers to understand the plight of women through Bernice’s experiences. From her encounters, people realize that women are faced with discriminatory treatments. The psychological aspect of the entire narration is evident from the decisions that the protagonist is forced to make. Most of them are informed by the experiences that she goes through in her life. For example, her husband would not let her access decent birth control. This implies that the protagonist was forced to bear children that she was probably not ready to raise. Bernice also experiences extremely violent rapes in her marriage. This is a proof that the author wishes to highlight the effects of poor backgrounds on the future lives of people. The author also suggests that existing welfare policies are ineffective because they do not help vulnerable women (Raphael, 2000). The book has intense explanations on dysfunctional relations in family setups. There are suggestions in the book that people fear addressing their issues in marriage. Later, they blame the problems that they encounter in abusive relations on poverty (Raphael, 2000). Raphael has also explicated that Bernice grew up from a dysfunctional family. Readers are informed that at the age of thirteen; she witnessed his drunk father pour oil on her brother; thus, burning him to death. Experiencing such incidents at a young age can have negative impacts on an individual’s life. In this case, there are higher chances that Bernice grew up with certain hatred towards men. Seeing his drunk and irresponsible father must have been extremely traumatic to her. Poverty is another significant sociological phenomenon that the book talks about in details. In the book, poverty is depicted to increase women’s vulnerability to men. In as much as it is not the main cause for the pathetic life women are leading, it contributes significantly to their problems. Bernice was poor, but her spouse made the most contributions in destroying her life as a woman (Raphael, 2000). He did not allow her to go for employment. It is saddening to note that he followed Bernice, stalking her wherever she went to look for work. The poverty culture is demonstrated in the manner several women depended on money they obtained from the welfare. “What did you especially like about the book, and why?” I liked the fact that Raphael created a real character, and in turn she succeeds in delivering the messages that she wished to pass across. The vulnerability of this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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