Flavio's Home Analysis

1055 Words 5 Pages
Many families live in poverty, a life that cripples and destroys. Those most affected are the children, people born into a life of suffering and pain. Death and destruction surround them, forcing them into a life of labor and exhaustion, thus thrusting them into a world of poverty as an adult and creating an endless cycle left to endure without the help of others. In turn, when those capable of assisting those in need, who denied help to others’ struggle, they are stuck penniless in a world surrounded by money, a life of anger and frustration, as they are left to starve alone. “Flavio’s Home,” an excerpt from the 1990 autobiography of Gordon Parks, Voices in the Mirror, examines the life of a poor family in Brazil, which opened the eyes of …show more content…
The reader feels a sense of sympathy, or even empathy if they’ve struggled with poverty, toward Flavio and his family. Hearing about a child, starving and exhausted, instantly makes the reader want to help Flavio, take away his pain. Pity overwhelms the reader as they hear of Flavio, and how he’s “miserably thin, naked but for filthy denim shorts,” instantly tugging at the heartstrings of any reader (Parks 1). If the reader has ever been in a state of sheer helplessness, they can’t help but feel their heart break for Flavio, a young boy who deserves so much more than what he was given. The reader also experiences a feeling of relief, knowing that Flavio was a happy boy and was constantly “smiling,” despite his hardships (Parks 2). Flavio had known nothing but poverty and thus had never felt the true luxuries of life, such as sleeping in a warm bed after a long day, or eating until his hunger was satisfied. He was happy, simply because he saw no reason to be sad. Flavio’s smile, his happy views on life, make the reader feel much better about his situation, or at least a feeling of comfort, knowing he maintained a joyous outlook on life, despite his …show more content…
While this saved Flavio’s life, the article focuses more on Flavio himself, rather than poverty in general. He saved Flavio’s life, but there are still millions in developing countries who are suffering, without any help whatsoever. While taking Flavio to the doctor is kind, Parks offered no permanent means of improvements to the da Silva family; if anything, he made them worse over time. The editor’s note of the article reveals that Park’s photos had brought upon a feeling of sadness, or something akin to pity in America. People donated over thirty thousand dollars, in hopes of generating enough money to get Flavio some medical attention. While that money sent Flavio to America, where he received proper treatment, he was eventually sent back to Brazil. He spent the rest of his life obsessed with returning to America, which eventually sent him spiraling into poverty once more. As a result of experiencing the life in the United States, Flavio found himself desperate to leave Brazil, which ended in him ruining his marriage, as his wife saw his obsession as unhealthy, pushing away his family, and eventually living homeless in the slums of Brazil. Parks may have helped Flavio, but it was a short-term help, that only put him back into the never- ending cycle of

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