Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol

Decent Essays
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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