In the book, The Glass Castle talks about a girl who grew up in poverty and grew up to be a successful woman living in New York City. Poverty is something that sweeps the nation today in the United States. “In 2016, 40.6 million people lived in Poverty USA. That means the poverty rate for 2016 was 12.7%. 15.4 million are children living in poverty.” (“The Population of Poverty USA”). Many people of different ages, ethnicity, and religions are living in poverty all around the nation. The biggest part is what you decide to do with it. Does Poverty define you or does Poverty make you stronger?

Poverty is not having enough money to buy the essential things you need. Poverty has led to unhealthy lifestyles as people try to make ends meet. In Mid-Michigan according to the chart on poverty in Michigan, “32.1%” of households are single-parent households. (Poverty In Michigan) That can make it even harder for a parent to provide for their children. “Social science tells us that children raised by single parents are significantly more likely to have children young, to drop out of high school, and to work less as young adults.” (Wilcox) Being a single parent can be tough and even tougher on the kids at times. It is up to each individual how their life will go and what they will let define them.

Jeannette Walls, the main character, in The Glass Castle lived in a trailer park growing up. She moved around from city to city because her father could never hold down a job. They would flee in the middle of the night to a new city. She didn’t want to live in poverty for the rest of her life so she and her siblings knew they needed to make a change in their lives to be able to move away from their parents. They save up money to move to New York City. Jeanette struggles with her mom still living in poverty and her father had passed from a stroke. Her mother won’t let Jeanette help her she thinks she is better off on her own and her lifestyle of digging through trash is better than her daughters. (Walls) Her mother doesn’t connect with her daughter any more think she is wrong for building a career for herself. A mother-daughter relationship can be very strong but hard to rebuild when it is lost.

Poverty is a hard thing for all people to understand no matter your social class to how others might be living. All different types of people are living in poverty some working two or three jobs and some not working any job at all. As a country, we need to make it a place where everyone has a chance to be successful.

 

“The Population of Poverty USA.” Poverty USA ,2018, https://povertyusa.org/facts.

 

“Poverty in Michigan.” Poverty Solutions, 2018, https://poverty.umich.edu/about/poverty-in-michigan/  

 

Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle. Scribner, 2005.

 

Wilcox, W. Bradford. “Sorry, NYT: For Child Poverty, Family Structure Still Matters.” National Review, National Review, 16 Feb. 2018, www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/single-mothers-new-york-times-story-wrong-impression/.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 How Poverty affects the nation by Emilee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. 2019 Chanakya Duggineni 3 weeks ago

    I really enjoyed your article it talks about many valuable things we as a society have to look at before taking action on poverty. First defining it and understanding its condition. I also liked your Glass Castle reference I also read the same book a few years ago, and the things that Jeannette went through definitely made her a better and stronger person than she would’ve been in different circumstances. I also believe like you said single parents are more likely to have their kids drop out of school and its important to look at how poverty can affect education. Here is a link that may interest you: https://www.childfund.org/Content/NewsDetail/2147489206/.

  2. Ruby 4 months ago

    Emilee, I loved your piece on the effects of poverty in our nation. The way that you used the relation of a book you read to current national events makes the topic easier to understand. My favorite part was your last paragraph, when you said “Poverty is a hard thing for all people to understand no matter your social class to how others might be living.” because it really shows the variance of poverty. I also think that it was good that you added your sources, you could maybe look at this website if you needed more information, https://www.thenation.com/article/democrats-congress-house-anti-poverty-agenda-economic-justice/. Overall I loved your writing, thank you for sharing your views.

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