How The Other Half Lives Analysis

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How the Other Half Lives Amanda Miller In How the Other Half Lives Jacob Riis describes life in America as a division of classes. He makes it clear that the way you shall live your life in America depends largely on what class you belong to. He vividly describes his journeys through New York City’s tenement housing districts and tells stories of families that at the end of the Nineteenth century many Americans didn’t know could exist, much less the middle and upper class families living in the same city. The gap between the middle and lower class at this time was huge and in this book he shows it very clearly. The majority of the families that lived in the tenement houses were immigrants who had come to America to escape the lives of their home countries. Some of their reasons included avoiding persecution such as the Jews, famine for the Irish, war for the…show more content…
“A man stood at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street the other day, looking gloomily at the carriages that rolled by, carrying the wealth and fashion of the avenues to and from the big stores down town. He was poor, and hungry, and ragged. This thought was in his mind, ‘They behind their well-fed teams have no thought for the morrow; they know hunger only by name, and ride down to spend an hour’s shopping what would keep me and my little ones from want a whole year.’”(How the Other Half Lives 233). This story of course doesn’t end happy. The man was taken over by rage and began lashing out at people on the streets with a knife and was sent to the crazy house. I'm sure that there are many stories like this of the poor using violence against the upper classes because they felt so helpless. The gap between the lower and middle class was growing larger and larger by the year. So you ask what was done for these people? Was their any sort of
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