What Is Poverty?

The essay, “What Is Poverty?” by Jo Goodwin Parker is one of the most touching essays that I have ever read. The narrator’s feelings sound so realistic that they can make anyone understand the meaning of poverty. She talks about the problems she has faced in her life and also about how she has been going through poverty. She defines poverty as sleeping on dirty mattress, eating rotten food, wearing torn clothes, waking up throughout cold nights. Facing poverty is an ordeal that anyone can face in his or her life. One needs to be really strong to suffer and to adjust to a whole life in misery. I am going to talk about the narrator’s view and my own view on poverty.
According to the narrator, poverty makes her think about the dark future. She talks about how society judges her and her children. She refutes people’s saying that they help her. It is because whenever she seeks help, no one gives a damn. She also talks about the consequences of early marriage and unemployment. Due to poverty, her children are suffering from hunger, diseases, infections, and illiteracy, but she can’t help herself. Her job compensates her so little that it is hardly enough to fill the stomach of her children. It’s beyond her expectations to dream about sending her children to school. Therefore, living in poverty without a husband in youth is a pain that she faces every day.
When I read the narrator’s feelings, I reminisced about the hatred I had for beggars. Whenever I saw poor people begging for money, I used to think, “Why don’t they get some work?” I always thought of them as lazy people who want to earn by attracting the attention of pedestrians through their dramatic behavior in the street. In addition, I thought that poor people beget more children to help themselves by turning their children into beggars. After reading the text, I learned that people suffering from poverty beget more children because they don’t have the concept of family planning, or they can’t afford the contraceptive devices. The essay made me feel guilty for the contempt I had been showing to the beggars, who are the victims of poverty. However, it doesn’t include all beggars, but only those who misbehave with the pedestrians when they don’t give them money. It is really difficult to assess whether or not to help them. If it was in the case like the narrator, then surely I would like to help them as much as I can.

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About pratibhatandukar
student

2 Responses to What Is Poverty?

  1. dorjiom says:

    Yes pratibath, befor reading the artice “what is poverty”,i also had the same notion about the poor people as yours. I heard that some ruthless people hire them and coerce them to beg. whenever I saw poor mother with her malnourished begging on the street, i used to think that why she had given birth when she knows that she cannot effort it. I always used to think that why most of the rich people have less children while the poor people have many children. However, after reading the article, I got all the answers to my questions.Dont feel guilty for what you have thought. And i would like to suggest you to donate money in donation box which is for poor people,instead of giving money individually to the poor people. I am really happy to know that you enjoyed reading the article and gained some knowledge. Read more and write more dear.

    • Thank you dorji for your response. I would look forward donating money in donation box but do you think that those money will be received by the poor ones. There are many people in the world who say one thing and do the other. For example, in Nepal, many groups of people come to grand money and clothes in the name of flood victims, but instead they sell those clothes in low prices. Therefore, it’s really hard to trust those people too.

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