A Cultural Analysis Of Katherine Boo 's Behind The Beautiful Forevers

1728 Words Aug 29th, 2016 7 Pages
Owen Boice August, 2016

English 10A Summer Essay

A Cultural Analysis of Katherine Boo’s Behind The Beautiful Forevers


Culture: “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, definition 5b). In her book Behind The Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo examines issues of culture, integrating them into a unique, nonfiction work. Ms. Boo—an award winning journalist—uses her life experiences as well as the culture and setting of the book to influence the plot, characters, and development of the story by focusing on three cultural observations: a vast disparity between rich and poor, yet similarity in the actions of those groups; a social hierarchy among the residents of Annawadi as a function of their appearance, gender, and religious beliefs; and a relative moral landscape as a result of a developing culture of poverty.


The first of these cultural observations—the similarities between the actions of the rich and poor—enables Ms. Boo to influence the book. As a journalist, Ms. Boo reports on economically disadvantaged people in the United States. Her experiences of working on such projects enables her to have a gentler viewpoint when writing about the residents of Annawadi. Instead of seeing the Annawadians as completely unlike the residents of the “overcity,” (wealthier Mumbai) her…
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