Free Essay

Poverty Is a State of Mind

In: English and Literature

Submitted By fgismyhome
Words 1226
Pages 5
B. Poverty is a state of mind

How are we supposed to look on poverty? Is poverty simply a question about lack of money and resources, or is poverty instead, a lack of liberty, hope, understanding etc.?
Does your economically resources mean that much? Utterly doesn’t money tell anything about how you behave towards other beings? When people look down on their neighbor just because they know the person is not able to afford certain things, which for them seems strange, they do not behave humanly.
Poverty is somehow a state of mind. If you yourself, think that you are rich, you are rich, and converted if you think you are poor you are poor. Your fellow human being cannot cure your own thoughts of yourself feeling poor. The only solution on problems, which you are dealing with, is yourself and the way that you are thinking.
Furthermore does social heritage have an influence on how a child is behaving?

In the essay “Poverty is a state of mind” written by Bernard Hare, we are told about this principal character who has been born into poverty in 1958. It is quite early revealed that his parents are getting low wages – but in spite of the lack of money, they are able to afford the most basic necessities of life. The society is described as a peaceful society where hospitality is huge part. Though he has an idea that they are poor, he explains that his life was filled with warmth, love, shelter etc. The main character is described as a ragged and bolshy boy, with an inquisitive mind. In this example the author uses a contrast between the main character and the other students at the grammar school. It is a rather interesting author choice, because the reader, gain an insight into the persons thoughts and feelings. In some way you get the feeling that he doesn’t fit into the system, because he is not used to it from back home. It also says in the text that he is getting into problems. The 1970 century is described as the turning point, where everything is no longer as rosy as first assumed. He is developing a disaffection and fear with society, by using violence. Once again the author uses the contrasts to make the reader wonder and question the complex of problems. “Like father like son, good education or no”. This comparison between him and his father puts a question to the reader: “How much do parents affect their children?”
Education is patently a pathway out of poverty, but education itself isn’t enough, according to the main character. He claims that social justice in some degree must be included. That’s a beautiful way of seeing it. Acknowledgment and democracy is the foundation of creating a society where everyone feels that they contribute to the community. A society where equality overshadows individualism.

It is clear that his Nan has had a positive impact on him through his life. She has kept telling him how important it is to get an education; at the same time she doesn’t hold with the ideas that drinking and smoking should be a part of life. We are told that she is completely teetotal and that she doesn’t approve such things. As it says in the text “You’ll never have any money if you drink and smoke”. She keeps warning him – and these warnings have somehow opened his eyes, so that he is aware that poverty might be self-inflicted. Compared to the main theme poverty is what you make it to be, but if you are satisfied with the way that you are living your life, no matter what other beings thinks that’s is possible the right way of doing it. Don’t let other people manipulate or determine whether you should do this or something completely different – it is your own life. The author reiterates the comparison between the father and son. The main character has been told that if he passed the examination, to get into secondary school at the age of 11, he would get a well-paid job in the future, whereas he would be off down the pit with his dad – a symbol of him digging his own grave into something he can not escape from.

Though the main character is described as being violent and unbalanced during his childhood, you somehow get the impression that he is ready to help other troubled and delinquent young people, who are also a part of the bad environment, with drugs, alcohol and so on. The fact that we are told that he is studying, to get out of his own problems tells a lot of his personality and his view of human nature. A metaphor used in this connection, which is worth mentioning is: “You can take the boy out of poverty, but you can’t take poverty out of the boy”. One sentence which really puts the main theme in perspective: Is it possible to escape the environments that are holding you back? Everything that you undergo (for instance the government blaming the miners for ruining the society – a distrust), is hidden in your brain, which means that you don’t forget bad experiences. In my opinion that is also what the author wants to show. But on the other hand the main character is helping other children, which shows that bad experiences in some way can be used as a benefit.

Imagery is something that the author uses a lot. For instance it says in the text “To me, it was civil war and I felt I had to choose sides. My mother died at the same time and I was concerned about my dad, who was being starved to death by the same country he had fought for in Korea”. The death of his mother could be interpreted as a symbol of London getting in moral and political decay. People are divided and as it says in the text the main character feels that he has to choose sides.
The author uses a lot of positive adjectives to describe the workers situation, for instance “The minors marched back to work in 1985, battered and beaten, but defiant”. It pictures the workers as being brave and strong-willed. They stand together in ups and downs, and for them they are not poor – they are on the other hand satisfied with their life.

The author uses his own experiences by describing it really detailed – this makes the text authoritarian, it does not get superficial, but instead his personal experiences are creating reliability. He is using a writing style, which appeals Pathos and Ethos. He makes the reader pondering by telling about his own experiences. By using these experiences he keeps the reader’s attention. As he says “I loved spending time with my dad and his workmates in the pub. As a child, I went in to collect my pocket money. As an adult, I went in to spend it”. This way of using his own experiences emotionally creates a trustworthy person that the reader can identify him or herself with. It is furthermore a text that portrays a modern complex of problems. In my point of view, that is also what makes this text intriguing to read.
Because what is poverty actually. Can poverty be economical and human alike?

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Poverty Is a State of Mind

...”Living in Poverty” – Richard Wright The definition of poverty can be a very individual thing, but if you ask people what they think poverty is, I think that most of them would say that it is lack of money. However, I also think that some of them, just a little group of them, would say: “Some people are so poor, all they got is money”. This is just one of the discussions, which involves poverty. It is also discussed whether poverty always will be in someone’s life if they are raised in it – and whether everybody has equal conditions when it comes to having a life without poverty, as a child or as an adult. In the essay “Living in Poverty” by Richard Wright poverty is the main theme. Richard Wright invites us in to the debate with his personal experiences and his story about living in Britain’s poor environment. Through the story Richard Wright get us to think – is poverty something in our mind? And is poverty really the only option for someone? The essay “Living in Poverty” is a creative non-fiction essay. More specifically; a personal essay, so I assume that Richard Wright is the “I” in the story. The essay is focusing on the topic ‘poverty’ through Richard Wright’s own stories and are therefore based on true and personal experiences. The whole story is about Richard Wright growing up – his childhood, teenage years and years as an adult. Richard Wright grew up in poverty, but he expresses that he never felt poor or saw he his family as a poor family. He grew up with a......

Words: 1208 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Poverty Is a State of Mind

...------------------------------------------------- Poverty is a state of mind “If you think you’re poor, you’re poor. If you think you’re rich, you’re rich. No-one is ever going to come along to cure your poverty. The only solution is to do it yourself.” These words are incisive. But is this the naked truth? “Poverty is a state of mind” (2012), written by Bernard Hare, deals with the idea of poverty as a mind-set. In this essay I will analyse and comment on Bernard Hare’s essay, based on a study of the writer’s use of contrasts and the use of his own experiences during the essay – lastly with an investigation of the writer’s intention. (115) Bernard Hare’s essay was originally broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 as a radio essay in 2012, later on, it was reprinted on BBC’s website. The story basically takes place in Leeds, in the North of Britain. We are following Hage through his upbringing in a poor environment. His father worked as a coal miner, and his mother was a shop worker in a department store. The events of the story are listed in chronological order - from back in the days where Hare was a child, spending his days among the cobbled terraces of east Leeds, to 1968 when his family got their first black and white television, and lastly he is taking us to the present, through his experiences as an......

Words: 1273 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Poverty Is a State of Mind

...Poverty is a state of mind – essay By Lasse Tobberup Poverty is worldwide, and millions of people live in poverty. There are a lot of people who is doing everything in their power to get food on the table. There are a lot of people who everyday go to bed hungry, and a lot of people who can only dream of a life in luxury with vacations and more food than they could ever eat. Many people lives in poverty. An example of a man who lived in poverty is Bernard Hare in the text “Poverty is a state of mind” from 2012. The main claim in the text “Poverty is a state of mind” is “Poverty is a state of mind”(l. 320). The ground is “As far as I was concerned, we had warmth, love, shelter, enough to eat (…) and a safe community environment to run around and play in.”. Bernard Hare tells that he had little idea that they were poor. According to him they had what they needed. So the fact that poverty is a state of mind is all about whether you think you are poor or not. This is also mentioned in another one of his claims: “If you think you’re poor, you’re poor. If you think you’re rich, you’re rich.”(l. 320). Bernard Hare’s ground to his claim is: “Poverty isn’t only about a lack of money and resources. The worst poverty is found when there is a lack of education, understanding, hope(…)”. He believes that poverty isn’t measured in money and resources, but also in many other things – and if you keep telling yourself that you are poor, then you are poor. Bernard Hare believes that......

Words: 761 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Poverty Is a State of Mind

...between wealthy and poor people and it has grown a lot over the years. One part of England is doing well, while the other part is struggling and facing bigger challenges. It causes a lot of difficulties for the poor, but is it just materialistic or is it also psychological? In the essay “Poverty is a state of mind” by Bernard Hare from 2012, originally broadcasted on BBC radio 3, he reflects on his life growing up poor and talks about how he finds poverty as something controlled by your mind. Hare is a social worker and a writer. He was born in Leed in 1958 and grew up in poverty. His father was a coal miner, and his mother was a shop worker in a department store, even though they both had a job, they were poor, probably because of the time they used on the pub drinking and smoking. But Hare did not have a problem with that since he did not feel poor at that time. In the story we follow Hare through his life as a child in poverty, social worker, back to poverty, helping a group of children, and then becoming a writer. I am going to analyse this essay by focusing on Hare’s own experiences, his use of contrast, and his intention in writing this essay. Even though Hare grew up in poverty, he did not notice it much in his childhood. By looking back, Hare sees that they had a good social circle in the neighbourhood, love, and the things needed to survive: “As far as I was concerned, we had warmth, love, shelter, enough to eat – except towards the end of the week......

Words: 1235 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Poverty Is a State of Mind

...Poverty is a state of mind Growing up in a poor family can be tough, but when you are young you mostly focus on the positive things in life - or at least those are the times you actually remember. This text focuses on Bernard Hare’s childhood and teenage years. Inheritance and environment is an issue he brings up, and how he broke it. He insinuates that he, if he followed inheritance and environment, was supposed to be doing hard physical work, just like his parents, instead he rose up and got good grades, went to university, and became a social worker and now a freelance writer. He is trying to get people to do the same - to look outside of the box they have been born into. When explaining his youth, Bernard uses obvious sarcasm; “Britain then was a good place to grow up. Home was warm, school was stimulating and challenging, the “bomb sites”, as we called them – in reality slum clearance zones – made excellent adventure playgrounds, and everyone still felt good about pulling together and bashing the Germans.” (p. 8, l. 70-77). This could be an attempt to recreate the feeling of being a child, where no matter how bad times are, you still perceive and recall them as being great, or it could be mock the almost gothic feeling Britain experienced after the Second World War. Obviously, he had a dangerous childhood with “bomb sites” and games in hazardous environments. The schools were boring and non-stimulating, and afterwards he came home to a cold home, where no matter how...

Words: 1008 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Children and Poverty in the United States

...Children & Poverty in the United States Children & Poverty in the United States Kylon D. Shipp SOC120 University of Phoenix In the United States, there are millions of families with children who live at or below the poverty guidelines set by the federal government. The federal poverty income level is around $22,050 a year for a family of four, and it takes about twice that amount to cover the basic needs and expenses of a family of this size (National Center for Children in Poverty, August, 2010). Although most parents are employed, the low pay wages these days tend to leave these families in a constant struggle to provide for their children. Most states have programs that help families that have a lower income take care of their children’s basic needs such as food, shelter, and medical expenses. However, children who grow up in poverty may still be affected by poor health and mental health issues. Poverty has also been known to affect a child’s ability to learn and leaves them at a greater risk for emotional, social, or behavioral problems. Research shows that poverty is the highest threat to a child’s well-being (National Center for Children in Poverty, August, 2010). Since 1964 when the war on domestic poverty was declared, the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars helping large and small towns across the country. They have repaired old homes, helped people find jobs, and also provided free food for those who are living in poverty.......

Words: 1829 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Living in Poverty

...“Living in Poverty” Poverty is known all over the world. It can strike you, it can beat you or you can be lucky enough to defeat it. Poverty is fluctuating periods that somehow never are welcome. In the essay “Living in Poverty” written by Richard Wright we hear about his own experiences through poverty which he was born into in 1958. The main character’s father worked as a coal miner and his mother as a shop worker in a department store. Through the essay we follow this character, first known as the blackest five-year-old-boy in their street, then as a teenager, and in the final part as an adult educated man. The writer uses a lot of coloured and offensive adjectives through the essay which give the readers a more intensive and exciting experience. It gives the story life and meaning while the readers create more powerful images in their heads. You can for example see that on page 8, line 71-72: “Home was warm, school was stimulating and challenging”. Furthermore, the writer sometimes uses humor and on page 8, line 60-69 you can see that. At the same page line 79-82 we see another example on that: “...I fell in love with Bible stories and colourful pictures, although I wasn’t entirely convinced about virgin births, miracles and risers from the dead.” Even though it is noticeable statements you can’t avoid reading it with a smile on your lips. This technique also gives the reader a more thrilling experience and in this occasion the writer wants to lighten the story up,......

Words: 1011 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Being the President of the United States

...the United States Josh Wainwright Sociology 101: Principles of Sociology- Word Count: 2111 Abstract The purpose of this essay is to express how to address current issues in today’s society. The issues that I have to address are poverty, crime, education, health and a 5th problem of your choice. The 5th problem that I chose to address was jobs. I go about addressing these issues as if you were the President of the United States. This essay gives I a chance to express how you feel about these issues and what would you do to fix these problems. As President of the United States, it is my duty to address problems in this American society. The five main problem that I want to address are poverty, crime, education, health and jobs. These are important issues that I am working on fixing immediately. My plan is to dramatically decrease the poverty and crime rate. I am also going to improve education, health insurance and job opportunities. Poverty America’s poverty rate is too high. Let’s look back on 2013 poverty rate. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2013, there were 45.3 million people in poverty. For the third consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the......

Words: 2119 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Child Poverty

...didn’t think of them in this way since starting class and doing the research we’ve done, have taught me so much. Many of society issues are social inequality, poverty, urbanization, discrimination against race, and culture. When learning about these issues, I’ve decided to do my paper on Poverty and Children in the United States. Poverty within the United States has become a major issue that affects our society and at hand families with children are coming face to face with this issue every day of their life. Poverty has become a major issue in our society today due to the result of our economy and the decision that one makes in life. And sad to say when the economy is always on the defense at failing, the children of our society have to pay a high price. There’s many reason and factors that can be related to one’s poverty. Some factors that can take place to which can place a child at poverty could be, single parent, unemployment, homelessness, abuse, or mother having more kids she can take care of. Over time history shows that poverty in the United States has raised a great deal. Many of us can’t even imagine how it feel to live in poverty, even if it’s looking us right in our eyes, we still try not to picture ourselves in that place. Poverty means can range from so much, and not just from not having enough money. Poverty truly mean not having enough of everything you need in order to take care of your household, money, and food is the main source. Not being able to having......

Words: 1845 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Poverty In America

...Poverty affects the whole world and is payed little attention too. Poverty is a problem the world has been aware of for a long time but now is when we need to work together to solve it. I will mainly be focusing on poverty in the US since that's so close to home. What we need to realize is that poverty exists everywhere. If the US focuses on the problem at hand we will realize how we can strive to end poverty. When many of US citizens hear the word “poverty” or “poor” they immediately think of other countries. The Census Bureau has listed that one in five children in America are using food stamps. Huffpost gives us the information that food stamps enrollment sees new highs last year when the year before that is dropped due to improvements in...

Words: 872 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Poverty

... 10-30-15 Poverty in the United States Arkansas is the second among states with the highest poverty rates, at 17.3 percent. The patterns of poverty in Arkansas have established and varied over time in relation to the physical characteristics of the state and to changes in economic and political behavior. Poverty is the high and low in different Arkansas counties. The counties with the highest poverty rates, in Arkansas, are Lee, Phillips, Lincoln, and Desha. The counties with the lowest poverty rates, in Arkansas, are Saline, Benton, Grant, and Lonoke. Only these four counties had poverty rates lower than the national average. Saline, Grant, and Lonoke counties benefit from their proximity to Little Rock (Maher, Daniel). In 2008 in Arkansas, most whites were in poverty. Within the population of those in poverty, whites made up most of the percentage in poverty. However, blacks came close with whites for being in poverty. Then, Latinos came last for being in poverty. Whites have obviously made up most of those in poverty (Maher, Daniel). Women and Children have made up a part of those in poverty in Arkansas. The gap of income variances between women and men means women are in more poverty then men are. In Arkansas, almost 19 percent of women are living in poverty, whereas only 14 percent of men are living in it. Children in Arkansas living in poverty under the age of 18 is almost 25 percent (Maher, Daniel). Arkansas, in poverty, is a......

Words: 694 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Arguentative Letter on Poverty

...Dear The Federal Government of Untied States of America, My Name is Betty Johnson and I am 30 years old. I am writing to you because I am very concerned with the future of the citizens in this country. Throughout my life poverty has been Americas "Darkest Secret". I never Really hear news Reports on the growing percentage of Americans living in poverty, or the ways the government is trying to fix this issue. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan where more than a third of residents live below the poverty line (Sasha Abramsky, "America's Shameful Poverty Stats"). Throughout my childhood I have watched many friends' families struggle financially. Sometimes my friends would go without eating for a couple of days simply because they could not afford it. I would offer them food but they would kindly decline because they were so embarrassed because of their situation. They would wear clothes that wouldn't fit them because they couldn't afford to buy new clothes. They would miss school to watch their little siblings because their mom was a single parent and had to work all day everyday just so she could feed them. They didn't even apply to college because they knew they had to immediately pick up a crapy job so they could help their mom pay the bills. The list goes on. All of this is happening under your supervision and it doesn't seem like much is affectively fixing this issue. America's lowest percentage of citizens living below the poverty line was 11.1 percent in 1973. It......

Words: 1621 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Poverty in Thrid World Countries

...114 Prof. Maskery Sep 27 2012 Poverty In Third World Countries Poverty is a major issue in our world today where people cannot afford the basic necessities required to survive. Although 1st world countries have more then what is needed, people still suffer from poverty. Poverty is a lack of goods and services necessary to maintain a minimal life style. However, in 3rd world countries poverty is more present then in 1st world countries because of the lack of resources, power,money, and education. The struggle to survive often results in having more children, however, people in poverty usually are not educated about safe sex practices. As a consequence, sexually transmitted diseases run rapidly. When the parents are HIV positive, HIV is passed to their newborns and the cycle of death by AIDS rages. Not only is diseases a problem but the causes it brings to families, children and the country as a whole.The reality is poverty is a silent killer that is ignored by most especially by the 1st world countries. They tend to ignore other countries and not try to put an end to poverty. There is about six billion people in the world as of 2012, and from that half of the population are suffering from poverty (Anup Shah). Which brings us to the question, Is there ever going to be an end to poverty? From research I have made poverty has been present to back to centuries even before BC and is still happening today. We would think that poverty would be decreasing as the years......

Words: 1590 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Unemployment

...through the minds of a Bahamians who play numbers as a way of life. These people rely on numbers to somehow solve their everyday problems and to abolish them from their financial slavery. Gaming in the Bahamas should be anything but legalized. The increasing amount of number houses today is ridiculous. They are the people who lead others to believe that there is an easy way to life, that money is the key to a happier life. These are type of thoughts that lead to an unfulfilled and purposeless society. I for one do not support this behavior and certainly do not support the move of legalizing gambling in the Bahamas. I feel that the legalization of gaming in the Bahamas will continue to give people false hope, impose poverty and increase crime. Poverty is no stranger to the Bahamas. There is an estimated amount of 43,000 people today, who live in poverty in the Bahamas (Joseph Darville,). This number is constantly rising every day. One of the negative effects of gambling is that it encourages poverty. A study found that people in poor neighborhoods are twice as likely to have gambling problems. John W Welte, a Senior Research Scientist at University of Buffalo showed that 11 percent of people who were unemployed, received public assistance or lived in places of poverty were problem gamblers (John Welte). In a speech written by Walter Williams, an American Economist, he suggests three reasons for the cause of poverty. The reasons he lists are that people of poverty “cannot......

Words: 1407 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Going Back to School

...Ohio is on the rise” (The Regional Food Bank of Ohio is a food pantry where anyone has a special concern for the poor, elderly, lonely, homeless, and hungry. It is a place where people from all walks of life can come together to share a hot meal and visit and enjoy each other’s company. Figure 1 Figure 2 Increase in poverty percentage in Ohio Poverty Percentage by State Hunger has affected millions of families across the United States. Many economic issues are the Cause of poverty, the use of food pantries and soup kitchens, and the disbursement of food stamps. The number of people that would receive food from a food pantry went from 250-300 all the way up to 2500-3000; this big of an increase had been related to the recession (Greenburg, Michael. American Journal of Public Health, 2010, vol.100 issue 11, p2021-2022.) Low-paying jobs are sending men and women home with only enough money on their paychecks to be able to pay rent. Due to the increasing rate of people coming into food pantries, the amount of food that the federal and state government was able to supply had to be dropped by 2/3’s due to budget cuts. With the government dropping the available amount of food this hurts the children more than adults, because children cannot make a living for themselves. Child care expenses have been increasing and will continue to increase . ...

Words: 1124 - Pages: 5