Essay on How The Other Half Lives By Jacob Riis

1160 Words Nov 20th, 2015 5 Pages
This essay would be just one of ten thousand pieces of paper that an average office worker in New York would come across in a year if it were in New York City today. Office work is something that every country needs in today 's society. New York just happens to be our own personal hub for international activity, which employs people of all races and cultures. But it was not always like this. In the book: How The Other Half Lives, by Jacob Riis, we find that immigrants from other ethnic backgrounds did not always have life as good as they have it today. In the book, Riis describes the living conditions of these poor immigrants and their struggle to survive on American soil. He describes the living conditions of the Chinese, the Italians, and the Jewish people, three of the poor ethnic groups living in nineteenth century America.
Now, before we dig too far into this, I would like to talk about what a tenement is since they are mentioned many times throughout the book. According to Webster dictionary, a tenement is: “a run-down and often overcrowded apartment house, especially in a poor section of a large city.” In the book, Riis describes the tenements a lot like this. Dark, filthy, and run-down, the tenements basically set the base for what the book is going to be about. We will find why and how the poor side of life lived.
The first ethnic group described by Riis in the book is the Italians. The Italians were probably the most populated immigrants in America at the time…

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