A Full Time Job Essay

1565 Words 7 Pages
A Full Time Job
In preparation for this reflection paper, I read the texts, reflected on my life experiences, and then identified the following key theme. David Shipler’s “The Working Poor,” The fact that people in the social welfare system do work at menial jobs and not necessarily because they are required by welfare to do so, shows that most people do want to contribute and be a part of working society. While reading the about the families in New Hampshire, I was reminded of the classism that occurred between the two worlds of rich and poor. In stark contrast to rural New Hampshire, southern New Hampshire where I grew up is an hour outside of Boston, the area I lived in was filled with pilots and executives. Besides being
…show more content…
Another common theme in both books is substance abuse, with Walls her father was an alcoholic, “Less than one-fourth of all individuals who need help for their abuse or dependence on alcohol or other drugs receive treatment”p.125 The commonality is that in poor urban areas often the mother is the head of the house and suffering from substance abuse issues, those children suffer the same consequences the Walls’ children whose father was the head of their house, which is poverty and ridicule.

The main theme of Shipler’s book to me was, the hopelessness of welfare. Why is this relevant to me? Because apathy weaves itself in and out of generations as in the case of Leary,”She had to earn her way back into her family” according to a judge. Leary was one character that stuck out as being fairly self-actualized, her statements lack any victim vocabulary and she seems to have a firm grasp of personal responsibility. Contrast that with the children in urban Washington D.C. The one black teacher in Washington trying to tell the children if they want to be doctors and lawyers they need to start with handing in their homework or at the very least show up for school. Anyone in the workforce can attest to the fact that good work habits are sown in school. “When I grow up I want to be a lawyer so I can help people”

Related Documents