What Is Poverty Jo Goodwin Parker Analysis

Jo Goodwin Parker’s “What is Poverty?” is a thought-provoking essay that challenges our assumptions about what poverty is and isn’t.

Parker argues that poverty is not just about a lack of material possessions or money. It’s also about a lack of power, opportunity, and choices.

This resonated with me because I’ve always believed that poverty is about more than just money. It’s about a lack of opportunity and hope.

Parker’s essay made me think about how we can help those in poverty move up and out of it. We need to provide them with opportunities and resources so they can make choices for themselves.

We also need to remember that everyone has their own definition of poverty. We need to be open to hearing different perspectives and experiences.

Jo Goodwin Parker’s “What is Poverty?” is a powerful and eye-opening essay that everyone should read. It challenges our assumptions about poverty and reminds us that we need to do more to help those who are struggling.

The essayist introduces her subject as an issue that has plagued humanity for millennia by stating, “This is a problem that goes back hundreds of years.” She then dives right into the topic and challenges the reader, “You ask me what poverty is?” in a rhetorical style, as if to suggest that the question is ridiculous. Whether or not the author writer was the character described in the essay, or had adopted a persona, was unknown since she had given little information about this work or herself.

The use of the irst person point of view throughout adds to the intimacy of the essay. Goodwin then goes on to provide a list of things that poverty is not. She states that poverty is not “wearing second-hand clothes or living in a rented house or eating leftovers” (1). Poverty is not about the materialistic objects that one possesses, but it is about a state of being. It is a state of being where one does not have the means to provide for themselves or their family.

The author writes from experience as she grew up in poverty and she provides detailed examples of what life was like for her and her family. One example is when she talks about having to wear hand-me-downs and how her family could not afford to buy her new clothes.

In any case, we can infer that the author of this story employed a narrative style because he or she has seen and perhaps dealt with poverty from an unusually close perspective. Goodwin urges the readers to “listen without pity” in the first paragraph and to view everything as if from a distance, but the ultimate sentiments they experience are empathy and pity, which is naturally caused by Goodwin’s vivid description and definition of poverty and also the issues it creates.

According to Jo Goodwin Parker, poverty is “not having enough money to buy food, see a doctor when you are sick, or have your children go to school because you can’t afford the fees.” Poverty is being hungry, but it is also being cold because you can’t afford to buy warm clothes or pay for heating. Poverty is being tired all the time because you can’t afford adequate rest and sleep. In short, poverty is “not having enough money to live the way most people in our society think normal.”

While we may have a general idea of what poverty is, it is still difficult to truly understand or experience it unless we have been through it ourselves. Jo Goodwin Parker’s essay gives us a peek into the lives of those who are living in poverty and the challenges they face on a daily basis. It is eye-opening and thought-provoking, and it makes us realize just how fortunate we are.

The word “poverty” is used in the second paragraph. Goodwin provides vivid imagery, such as “this is a smell of urine, sour milk, and rotten food….”, “the stench of decaying garbage” and so on that urge the reader to almost, in some manner, smell them and feel with others who experience it similarly.

Goodwin then goes on to talk about the different types of poverty; there is absolute poverty which is based on the severity of deprivations and relative poverty which is determined by the resources available to a household in comparison to other households.

Relative poverty can be further broken down into two categories, subsistence poverty and destitution poverty. The first is where people lack the resources to acquire the basic necessities for survival such as food, clothing and shelter. Goodwin defines destitution poverty as “a situation so dire as to threaten life itself” She gives examples such as being unable to pay for medical care or being forced to live in conditions that are unsanitary and unsafe.

While reading, I was struck by how detailed Goodwin’s descriptions were and I wondered if she had personal experience with poverty. It turns out, she did. Jo Goodwin Parker was born in 1936 in Kentucky, one of thirteen children. Her father was a coal miner and her mother stayed at home to raise the kids. Parker dropped out of school in the eighth grade to help support her family. She married young and had seven children of her own. In 1968, she left her abusive husband and went on welfare to support herself and her children.

It is clear that Jo Goodwin Parker knows what she is talking about when she talks about poverty. She writes from personal experience which makes her argument more credible. In “What Is Poverty?”, she seeks to educate the reader about the different types of poverty as well as the day-to-day realities that people living in poverty face. Her purpose is to raise awareness and hopefully, spur people into action to help those who are struggling.

While Jo Goodwin Parker’s article isdated, it is still relevant today. There are still many people struggling with poverty both in the United States and around the world. Her article is a good starting point for understanding what poverty is and how it affects people’s lives.

What should be noted is the use of the phrase “it’s the scent of…”, which emphasizes her illness and conveys the writer’s anxiety and desolation over the fact that poverty has not simply afflicted her but also her children. This information qualifies as a different form of poverty because she understands now that her children are also victims of it, yet she is powerless in every way.

The essay also talks about the different types of poverty, for example, “the kind of poverty that makes you wistful for a piece of bread” and “the kind of poverty that robs you of your self-respect” . It is important to note that Jo Goodwin Parker does not see herself as poor because she has enough food to eat and a place to sleep, what she calls “the basic necessities of life”. She only sees herself as poor when she cannot provide these same basic necessities for her children.

This quote: “I am not talking about the kind of poverty that makes you wistful for a piece of bread. I am talking about the kind of poverty that robs you of your self-respect” is important because it shows that Jo Goodwin Parker does not consider herself to be truly poor until she cannot provide for her children. This is a different perspective on poverty than what is typically seen in the media.

Jo Goodwin Parker’s essay, “What Is Poverty?”, provides a unique perspective on what it means to be poor. She discusses the different types of poverty and how they can affect someone’s life. She also talks about how poverty can rob someone of their self-respect. This is an important perspective on poverty that is often overlooked.

Leave a Comment