Living In Two Worlds Analysis

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Reading Response for “Living in Two Worlds” In the essay “Living in Two Worlds” published by Newsweek on Campus in April 1988, Marcus Mabry writes about the wide gap between the existence of his low income family and the privileged lifestyle he enjoys at an elite American University. Every six months the author comes home and is faced with the harsh realities of his previous household (financial hardship, spartan accommodations). However, his current standard of living at Stanford is in striking contrast with his family’s suffering. Thus, every time he travels home he feels guilty, helpless, and sorry for all his relatives. Mabry’s experience leads him to believe that getting an education is the best way to help his family.…show more content…
The author makes a conscious choice to stay with his family rather than run to a Christmas party back to Stanford or someplace else. It is very easy for me to personally agree with Mabry’s respect for his impoverished family. I can never forget how my parents bought me a warm coat when I was 12 years old. For the next 3 years I was embarrassed and ashamed to have to “play turtle” in the old coat which became way too small for me. My parents just could not afford a new coat at the time. I am not mad and I am not blaming my parents for that. Just like Mabry, I understand those tough choices my family had to face. In my opinion, there is no substitute for personal experience and only a person who comes from an impoverished environment can truly understand the rigors it generates. Therefore, I totally agree with Mabry’s statement that “our friends are willing to listen, but most of them are unable to imagine the pain of the impoverished lives” (116). Marcus Mabry’s lifestyle in Stanford is totally different from the one he faces at…show more content…
The mere fact that Mabry was able to completely on his own work his way up to a Stanford graduate position proves a tremendous dedication and will on his part, not to mention a bright person. It is fascinating to witness how the author attributes a “sense of tenacity and accomplishment” (117) inspired within him to the fact that his relatives are able to “survive in the world in which they live in”(117). I consider the connection between Mabry and his family to be a key element in understanding his life path. Author’s quest for education becomes not only a great personal achievement, but also an opportunity to help his loved ones escape from the claws of poverty. With that kind of motivation, I cannot see Mabry fail. “Living in Two Worlds“ provides its reader with an insight of how a person who endures hardship can find the strength and the willpower to reach success in life. Author’s drive for success is a vivid illustration of total commitment, of hard work and of not taking things for granted. The clear message of the essay is: "Do not expect a silver spoon to be given to you. Make it happen”. Mabry’s story is by no means a complaining one. On the contrary, I perceive it as an optimistic tale. The essay reminds me of the phrase: “What does not kill me, makes me
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