November 17, 2005
Book Report #2
How the Other Half Lives
The book How the Other Half lives, is one of those books that definitely affects you as soon as you read it. Jacob Riis the author of the book, wrote it exactly for the purpose, to affect people and get them to realize how bad the conditions were back then in New York City. He goes into full depth, of what the living conditions were like, who lived in them, and how they were affected by them. Mostly how each ethnic group lived in the tenements, and what the city did to improve them.
Genesis of the Tenement In thirty-five years the city of New York went from less then a hundred thousand people to at least harbor a half a million souls, in
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The Problem of the Children "The problem of the children becomes, in these swarms, to the last degree perplexing(How the Other Half Lives,p.135)." There was a packing of children in the East Side tenements. The playing area that they little ones had were extremely small, and the amount of light that was in the area, was about as much light as there was in a cellar. There was one hundred and twenty eight in forty families. Because being so close to the water children have drowned, sometimes people didn't act like that don't know nothing about this. This then half of the children attended school, the rest learned from the parents. Riis stated, " I don't know how many children there were in it, but the inspector reported that he found only seven in the whole house who owned that they went to school. The rest gathered all the instructuon they received running for beer for their elders(How the Other Half Lives,p.136)." The boys would only do good in life if they were trained from the beginning, but basically because of the schooling they are not able to provide the oppurtunity that he deserves. The boys back then were constantly being caught by police officers doing bad things, so then they were sent to reformatory schools. The children never left the area that they lived in basically, some kids never had even seen the brooklyn bridge, which was five minutes walking distance. "In thirty-seven years the Children's Aid Society, that