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. The population in the United States is 325.7 million people in 2016 40.6 million people are living in poverty that is 12.46% of our population. 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 32.1% of households only have a single parent. (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) Though it can be tougher to be on a good track for your adulthood it is not impossible it is up to you to decide your fate.

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 there 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)

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,


“Poverty in Michigan.” Poverty Solutions, 2018,  


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,



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

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