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The American Underclass in In Life at the Bottom by Theodore Dalrymple

Decent Essays
In Life at the Bottom, Dalrymple is suggesting that the description of the poor is changing and that using poverty and hunger can no longer fully cover all of the lower class. That new characteristics have risen, that many of the lower class have adopted. That those that are violent, those that have agonies and emptiness, and those that have horrid morals are now the way to depict the lower class. Dalrymple also argues that in order to rise out of the underclass that family ties are needed and without it there is hardly any way to do so. Dalrymple says that many of the issues that plague the underclass comes from a bourgeoisie society, that this upper class of liberals are feeding and fueling all of the problems and mentality that are…show more content…
Chicago has the highest gang population in the United States (www.huffingtonpost.com) and the highest amount of gun related murders to boot. As an effect of these crimes, many of the targets are not the rich and the powerful but instead are the weak and the poor. Those that cannot defend themselves to a great extent, they are seen as easy targets that will soon give up if it has taken too long to find the culprits. Since the underclass is the primary target for crime from the underclass it is like they are just undermining themselves in order to gain some type or upper hand on the next man that holds no real bearing. Even when taking “good moral” individuals some have turned to crime because they see no other way to make means for themselves or their loved ones. Some of these people have been laid off and have no other source of income, their back is against a wall and they want out. They want so badly to have money again so that they survive and not live on the streets like they see others, so they commit crimes for others that will pay. It is because of this desperation that violent crimes still thrive and until people realize this then violent crime will still keep the underclass suppressed. (www.clombia.edu)
Many of the underclass combats a sense of emptiness or depression. They wonder how they got in this situation, if they can still fight on, and if it will ever be better. Depression in the underclass is twice as likely to happen as to those that are
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