How the Other Half Lives Essay

1326 Words6 Pages
Danielle Mariella
November 17, 2005
Book Report #2
How the Other Half Lives
Introduction
The book How the Other Half lives, is one of those books that definitely affects you as soon as you read it. Jacob Riis the author of the book, wrote it exactly for the purpose, to affect people and get them to realize how bad the conditions were back then in New York City. He goes into full depth, of what the living conditions were like, who lived in them, and how they were affected by them. Mostly how each ethnic group lived in the tenements, and what the city did to improve them.
Genesis of the Tenement In thirty-five years the city of New York went from less then a hundred thousand people to at least harbor a half a million souls, in
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The city was packed out to 290,000 people in the square mile.
The Mixed Crowd "When once I asked the agent of a notorious Forth Ward alley how many people might be living in it I was told: One hundred and forty families, one hundred Irish, thirty-eight Italians, and two the spoke the German tongue(How the Other Half Lives,p.3). There was not one native born american in the court, or in any of the tenements. The irish were the true cosmopolitan immigrant. All-pervadin, he shares his lodging with perfect impartiality with the Italian, the Greek, and the "Dutchman," yielding on to sheer for of numbers, and objects equally to them all. The city maps were colorized for each nationality, if you were to look at a map at that time, Irish were mostly on the West Side and the Germans were mostly on the East Side. Mixed in where Italian, who pushed there way up, where "Little Italy" came to be. The less aggressive, the Russian and Polish Jew, are filling the tenements of the old Seventh Ward to the river front, while disputing with the Italians, over every foot of avaibility on Mulberry St. "The italian and the poor Jew rise only by compulsion. The Chinaman does not rise at all; here, as at home, he simply remains stationary. The Irishman's genius runs to public affairs rather than domestic life; wherever he is mustered in force the saloon is the gorgeous centre of political activity(How the Other half lives,p.25)." The germans
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