What is Poverty? by Jo Goodwin Parker Exercise: Questions & Answers Class 11 English
Understanding the text
Answer the following questions.
a. What is poverty according to Parker?
➜ Poverty, according to Parker, is a lack of hope, better foods, medical care, proper sanitation, and proper education. It’s like an acid that eats away at one’s pride, honour, health, and future.
b. How is poverty difficult for Parker’s children? List some specific examples.
➜ Parker’s three children are severely disadvantaged as a result of their family’s financial situation. They live in misery as a result of a lack of adequate food, education, clothing, and medical care. Parker has brought her children’s deteriorating health into the discussion. She has given us information about the poor condition of her children. They used to have oilless corn cornbread for breakfast, according to her. They used to dress in filthy clothes. They were not enrolled in a formal school. Parker has told us about an incident that occurred one day when she left her children in the care of her mother while she went to work. That day, after work, she discovered her youngest covered in flyspecks, whose diaper hadn’t been changed since the morning. Her next son was tinkering with the shattered glasses. Her eldest son was playing on the edge of the lake.
c. How does Parker try to obtain help, and what problems does she encounter?
➜ Parker tries to get help for her children by spreading her hands in front of various people and institutions. Due to a lack of funds, she makes every effort to find supportive hands most of the time. Most of the time, she has difficulty locating the appropriate organization and person to assist her. She must transfer to new organizations. She has to wait and tell her dreadful story over and over.
d. Why are people’s opinions and prejudices her greatest obstacles?
➜ People’s opinions and prejudices are her greatest obstacles because they prevent her from receiving supportive hands for her family’s sake. The majority of people are unaware of the agony of poverty. Poor people’s suffering is insignificant to them. They continue to express their prejudices and opinions about poor people. In Parker’s case, people’s opinions and prejudices prevent her from obtaining assistance to run her family.
e. How does Parker defend her inability to get help? How does she discount the usual solutions society has for poverty (e.g., welfare, education, and health clinics)?
➜ Parker defends her inability to get help and support by expressing her feelings about her poverty experiences. She dismisses society’s usual solutions to poverty by recounting her own experiences with welfare, education, and health clinics. According to her, in the name of welfare, she must move and spread her hands in a variety of agencies across the country. She has to deal with shame all the time in these organizations. She must repeatedly demonstrate her poverty. She has to retell her story several times. Sometimes welfare programs promise to assist, but getting to them takes a long time. School launch programs exist in the name of education, but they serve no purpose. She has witnessed the condition of her two children after sending them to school. When it comes to the most important aspects of health clinics, Parker’s life is far from the facilities of health clinics. She has to walk for miles to get medical help. If she asks for help, the helper anticipates negative outcomes from her. As a result, Parker is completely disconnected from all three critical aspects.
Reference to the context
a. Explain the following:
Poverty is looking into a black future.
➜ The writer Jo Goodwin Parker stated in her essay, “Poverty is looking into a black future.” She has presented this line to her readers in order to present her experience with poverty. The writer is advising all of the readers in this line about an ugly and cruel aspect of poverty. Poverty, according to her, leads people to a dark future. On a daily basis, poor people must endure a miserable existence. It is extremely difficult to provide them with adequate daily foods. There is no future hope for them. They continue to live in disparity, looking forward to a black future. Poverty shatters future hopes and dreams.
b. What does Parker mean by “The poor are always silent”?
➜ Parker is referring to poor people’s helplessness when she says “the poor are always silent.” Money is extremely important in poverty. Money is the perfect solution to all problems. Poor people, on the other hand, feel weaker as a result of a lack of resources. They always keep their mouths shut in front of others. Because of their pitiful state, they must listen to others’ words while remaining silent.
c. What writing strategy does the author use at the beginning of most of the paragraphs? Do you notice a recurring pattern? What is it?
➜ The author employs her repetition strategy at the beginning of the majority of the paragraphs in this essay. Yes, I’ve noticed a recurring pattern, and it’s the structure “Poverty is.” The essay is well-organized, with the phrase “Poverty is” repeated at the beginning of each paragraph. She attempts to establish a relationship between the woman and the readers here by using her repetition strategy. Because of the author’s casual style, the writing appears to be part of a casual conversation between the narrator and the readers. Goodwin Parker’s writing is extremely effective and accomplishes its goal.
d. How does Parker develop each paragraph? What details make each paragraph memorable?
➜ Parker begins each paragraph with her repetition strategy. She begins the majority of her paragraphs with a repetition statement such as “Poverty is.” She then shares her personal experiences with her topic sentences. The author first makes it clear to her readers that her goal is to help them understand what poverty is. Her second goal is to persuade all of her readers to help those in need. Each paragraph is memorable because of the details related to her personal painful experiences and the harsh reality of poverty.
e. In the final paragraph, how does the author use questions to involve the reader in the issue of poverty?
➜ The author uses questions in her informal style of direct conversation in the final paragraph to engage the readers in the issue of poverty. Parker has done an excellent job of engrossing her readers with her persuasive style. She instructs them to look at the poor with an angry heart rather than a pitiful heart. This style of question has piqued the readers’ emotions as well as their attention. In the final paragraph, she has succeeded in drawing her readers’ attention to her plight and the struggles of others in her situation.
Reference beyond the text
a. Define a social problem (homelessness, unemployment, racism) imitating Parker’s style.
➜ Sleeping on the streets is a form of homelessness. Homelessness forces you to sleep on the sidewalks. Living life on footpaths weakens you in a variety of ways. It is the end of your pride and prestige.
Unemployment is a life of embarrassment. Unemployment reduces your social value. You are constantly ashamed and humiliated because you do not have a job. People make fun of you because you are unemployed.
Racism is a humiliating way of life. Racists make you feel socially inferior. They continue to degrade you because of your skin colour. You will be humiliated in your society because of your skin colour. It is a curse to live your life under the guise of racism.
b. Using adjectives to highlight the futility of the situation, write a short definition essay on Growing up in Poverty.
➜ Poverty is defined as a pitiful situation in which people lack a variety of essentials in their lives. Aside from other people’s perspectives, I believe that growing up in poverty is vexing. You can never be happy if you are poor. The majority of the time, poverty irritates you. Growing up in poverty is a tedious experience. You never try to do anything interesting because you are poor. Growing up in poverty is both perplexing and discouraging. You are constantly perplexed by your life. Disparity and inequality never allow you to be free and do good in your life. Growing up in poverty is a terrifying experience that exposes you to a variety of hardships and struggles. It gives you a tiring and worrying experience where pains are always waiting to greet you.