At first glance and after reading through Amazing Grace, it seems that Jonathan Kozol is going to take us on a journey through the lives of the underprivileged, but similar to the ones you read about, or hear in the news. However, this is not the case; the real underlying theme seems to be how the life and society they live in is very alike to a life in a prison, not because it talks explicitly about prison conditions in this area, but also because their lives are portrayed as being a prison. Kozol uses the views of children and adults throughout this book to emphasize this theme through their living conditions and personal lives, background and struggles. Kozol writes about the trials and tribulations of everyday "normal" life for the people who live here. “Normal” for them, however, is quite different than it is for most of us. Living with drug dealers, pollution, poor hospital care and an awful education system, not to mention the social system of the city, is the "normal" for them. In his interviews, even with the children of this overlooked neighborhood, we find that the children speak honestly and freely about their feelings. Forgotten, hidden, abandoned, are just some of the words that come to mind. One boy named "Malcolm X" wears his hair in a style referred to as "25 years to life". His sister asks "Like in prison…? This is how you want to wear your hair?" His reply "You don't have to be in jail to be in prison". This is just one of many examples given to show the
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The piece is classified as Aboriginal Australian literature. It was published in the 1960’s. The purpose of the text is to give hope in a new beginning after the events involving the racial tension between the Aboriginals and the white settlers. The poem is directed to the Aboriginal people of Australia who suffered from these events
Several years ago, Amy Chua’s book: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has triggered a lively debate about the strict parenting style. In the book, it is mentioned that Chua sets rules and restrictions, such as no sleepovers, practising music instruments every day, etc. As a result, her daughters achieve excellent grades in schools (Goodin ¶2-3). Chua’s parenting style is categorized as authoritarian. In Hong Kong, Chua’s style is popular. Parents put a lot of pressure on their children. Starting from primary level, children are asked to attend extra tutorials. From the parents’ eyes, “Practice makes perfect”. Hence, children will become more competitive. However, westerners oppose her methods. Some believe that giving no freedom to children is not conducive to one’s academic performance.
Is it possible to predict when a catastrophe could happen? The natural catastrophes are easy to provide with the technology, but the man disasters are worst because it is impossible to know when they could happen. The protagonist of the short story “Grace Period” by Will Baker was able to understand the clues who foretell the worst for him. With the facts in the article “Nuclear Weapon Effects” written by John Pike, the nuclear weapon is probably the most logical thing that could happen in “Grace Period” and the main character would probably die by the effects of his exposition to the radiations.
In the Pulitzer Prize winning civil war novel Killer Angels, Michael Shaara covers five days of the historic battle between the Northern and Southern United States at Gettysburg. Both the North and the South fought for freedom, although they did not have equivalent definitions of freedom. The North and the South were unwavering in their beliefs and their hope for a better United States, but what the two butted heads the most on was slavery. The South was a primarily agrarian region which relied heavily on the agriculture of crops like cotton and sugarcane, both of which required intense manual labor, unlike the North who was more so industrialized; however, as William Preston said, it was not cotton that was “the south’s king” but it was slavery that made them so prosperous. The South relied on slavery because having many workers to tend to these cash crops without having to pay them saved farmers and plantation owner’s money that they could use to buy more slaves that put out more work leading to more land for more crops, or to have more money to pay their taxes. Many Southerners like William Preston thought that owning other people was their divine right as white men. The Civil War was started over the North and South’s conflicting views on whether they had the “civil” right to own or not own slaves. The Northern and Southern states developed themselves much differently than one another because of their agrarian versus industrialized economy. As the states developed they
In Tony Morrison’s “Song of Solomon” it explores the discovery of ethnic identities. It depicts the life of Macon Milkman Dead, a withdrawn loner who doesn’t feel accepted by others and is disconnected with his family and heritage. With help from others in his community Milkman takes a trip to discover himself and his roots bringing him closer to the true meaning of his purpose. Milkman in turn realizes that flight represents liberation from a life of restrictions, set in an era of racism and separation. Flight may seem as a positive solution to such a life of problems and discrimination, however, holds very negative aspects in family settings. Abandoning your own and severing those mutual bonds plays a significant role in the life of the loved ones left behind. Most are left recovering from their loss, or completely lose hope such as Hagar. Solomon leaving his wife Ryna and children behind was necessary sacrifice he had to make in order to be free. Solomon is never punished or looked down for his decision; in his song it acknowledges his accomplishment as a great achievement. In “Song of Solomon”, the ability of flight symbolizes the escape from oppression while searching for freedom.
Ana Castillo’s novel, So Far From God, propels the reader on a vibrant and surreal journey through the tragic ordeals of Sofi and her four daughters. The first chapter, which offers certain similarities to the Bible’s story of Jesus Christ, in that Sofi’s three year old daughter, La Loca, seems to succumb to a violent and horrifying death, and at the wake, she returns to life with a tale of her journey beyond the veil. This scene creates a notable comparison between the patriarchal religiosity of the story of Jesus Christ and the Chicana-centered resurrection, complete with the hypocrisy of a male-centered system of beliefs, the acts of acquiring selfhood as a female centered savior, and the phenomena of the “death” of the saviors.
Chapters 2 and 3 continue with more depressing facts that chapter1 reveals. However, these are more detailed and more personal, and thereby more disturbing.Reading about these lives makes me think of people I see on the street everyday, of whom many are homeless. Being homeless used to seem like the worst existence imaginable, but after reading the first few chapters of Amazing Grace, living in Mott Haven sounds even worse to me. It is sad to think that a person without a home has more freedom than an entire community of people. Who decides that these people are expendable? Some may say that the politicians make that decision and that thereby our hands are clean. It is foolish to say that however, when we are the people who gave them that power. We do not want to admit that we often look away when we see someone in distress. Pretending nothing wrong is an easy way to go through life, regardless of how politically incorrect it may be. Ignoring the problems is simple if you are fortunate enough to be middle or upper class, but when you are poor there is nothing you can do to avoid them. People in need do not get to choose where they live. They live wherever they can afford to, or in some cases wherever they have been placed by government services. Many people in Mott Haven, the Washingtons for example, were indeed sent
Faith Ringgold’s God Bless America is an expression of the emotional and physical torment of black Americans prior to and during the Civil Rights Movement. This piece of art movement had a lot of cultural ties to the population during the 1960’s that also can be applied today in the year 2001. Through the description of medium, subject matter, form, and style I will relate this piece of history and the signfigance of what this composition means to me today.
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. Jonathan Kozol's investigation on the lifestyle of these people, shows the side to
In “Invisible Child,” a New York Times article written by Andrea Elliot, we follow a day in the life of a young African American girl, Dasani, growing up in New York City. However, instead of living in an “Empire State of Mind,” Dasani lives in the slums, growing up homeless with her two drug addicted parents and seven siblings. Dasani often finds herself taking care of her siblings, making sure they have enough to eat, tying shoelaces, changing diapers, getting them to the bus stop in time, and the list goes on. An 11 year old girl, essentially taking care of a whole family, as well as taking care of herself by going to school, receiving an education, and partaking in extra-curricular activities. Elliot captures the life and struggles of a family well under the poverty line, giving us an unprecedented look into what Dasani must do each day not just to grow up in New York City, but to survive.
Activism, culture and value have always had a tremendous influence in society. When it comes to the Appalachian region of the United States, people tend to see our culture and values differently. The individuals of the Appalachian region have been stereotyped for far too long, people forget that West Virginia has played a huge role in building this country. Our coal miners have put their lives in danger time and time again, some losing them, for worker’s rights. The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest labor rebellion in the history of the United States. This was the foundation of the movement for eight hour work days and minimum wages. The novel Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina is a fictionalized tale of the conflict that took place in these coal fields of West Virginia. The novel brings to light the stereotypes, race and religion of the Appalachian people.
I discovered that within the prison’s white walls and alarmed doors were children-a stark contrast to the stern prison guards and orange jumpsuit-clad prisoners of my imagination. These bright-eyed youth reunited every Sunday with their incarcerated parents; only one measly hour was allotted for the sharing of a week's worth of experiences. While sketching, I observed heartfelt embraces full of compassion alongside forced and terse greetings. I could not even imagine how emotionally taxing and complicated this whole ordeal could be on anyone, especially an impressionable
Indian Americans have been described as a distinguished minority in terms of their successful careers, middle class aspiration and work ethic. Chaubey highlights the notion of diasporic Indians shedding their linguistic, regional and religious identities with statements like “It is arguable that one is more easily an Indian abroad than in India.”Ref 22. In Unaccustomed Earth, most of the characters pursue ambitious studies, often leading to prestigious degree and professional careers. In her personal educational career Jhumpa Lahiri has owned three master degrees and a Ph.D.
Through the Parable of the Return of the Prodigal Son we see that the father in the story is God and we are the son longing for forgiveness. You can compare Amazing Grace to the parable of The Prodigal Son by comparing the verses to the son being found and seeing the grace of God. The story of the Prodigal Son and the song Amazing Grace are both about recieving the grace of God and asking for forgiveness. Grace is the free and unmerited gift of God’s love, forgiveness, mercy, and healing to any and all who turn to Him in faith in the name of Jesus. This concept of grace is demonstrated in Jesus’ parable of The Lost Son and Newton’s hymn, “Amazing Grace”.
In his poem "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace," published in 1968, Richard Brautigan places the reader in a future realm: a sparkling utopia "where mammals and computers live together in mutually programming harmony" (1). He draws us in by juxtaposing images of nature, man and machine that challenge us to imagine this new world. In essence, Brautigan's poem is a supplication for that dream world, but to the modern reader it can be a land of irony.