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The Struggles Of Poverty In Gordon Parks's 'Flavio's Home'

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“It keeps growing... spreading like cancer… human excrement clogged the open sewers…a large hole in the far corner served as a toilet…The children ate with their fingers… desperate criminals hid out there...long lines waited at the sole water spigot...others waited at the only toilet in the entire mountainside...throughout the place came wailing of hunger and hurt…” poverty is everything but a laughing matter (Parks). Photograph and writer, Gordon Parks, in his essay, “Flavio’s Home” reveals the struggles of families in poverty in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, highlighting a social-political concern faces in many countries around the world. Parks’ essay, originally published in Voices in the Mirror during the 1990’s, adopts an evocative tone in order to appeal to the incognizant rich to persuade them to take action against the destitution of the citizens of Catacumba. Parks’ purpose is to convey the idea that those in penury are dying from disease and other harsh conditions, both of which are preventable with awareness and funding. In “Flavio's Home”, Parks describes the terrible conditions that many families face in a shanty town called Catacumba, specifically focusing on one family when he encounters a boy named Flavio in the streets. Parks concedes that Flavio takes care of the family by cooking, cleaning, collecting water, and bathing his siblings while his parents are away. He observes Flavio's frequent coughs throughout the day; his initial reaction is to flee, but he stays
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