Amazing Grace By John Kozol Essay Research

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Amazing Grace By John Kozol Essay, Research Paper Chris Benson Benson1 Mrs. Nicholaides Humanities 10/14/99 Jonathan Kozol s Wueltunshuung In the book Amazing Grace, Jonathan Kozol uses his unique ability to express his experiences, to the reader. He arranges the focus of the novel to modify the story. He takes the reader inside the Bronx and shows social injustice. Kozol is able to express the story in such a manner as to enable the reader to imaginatively participate, truly broadening and deepening his sense of the experience. The tools Kozol uses to invoke great emotion from the reader is what makes this book a work of art. He cleverly centers his story around characters for whom most readers would feel the highest emotional involvement for. Kozol s choice of setting is

ideal for the story because it is in a city to which he gives no accolades. The Walden book review praises Kozol on his style and storytelling. It compliments his realistic views and gives credit to his gloomy underlying tone to the story. The critic wrote: The thesis may very well hit close to the mark. But Kozol, to his credit, doesn t claim too much or pretend to have all the answers. He presents his evidence and yes, his thoughts without claiming any lock on the truth here. His evidence stronly supports his dim perspective. The South Bronx for example, has an epidemic of severe asthma. He cites statistics showing hospital admissions for asthma at six or more per thousand people in the South Bronx neighborhoods, and 1.8 per thousand statewide in New York. Although residents

say they know the asthma epidemic s likely cause is the recently built incinerator nearby, Kozol explains that the assertion is both plausible and difficult to pin down (Walden Web Book reviews). Kozol s greatest tool is his focus on children. He chronicles the inner city youths and their struggles with society. Most of them are sickly and underfed, as a result of parental and governmental neglect. The use of children is powerful because the child is an innocent and pure person. The corruption and evils that overtake these children leave us with heavy hearts. The fact that the youngsters did not deserve the horrible things that were thrust upon them and their helplessness gives the reader a taste for the urban tragedies. He uses the children brilliantly because their innocence

allows them to remain pure and hopeful even though they are in a slum area with little hope for a bright future. The child is ideal for a character because everyone can relate to being a child. Not everyone has been a doctor, clerk or accountant, but everyone has been an innocent child once in their lives. Also people will feel sympathy toward the youths because of they are innocence. No one would feel as much sympathy for a thief or addict, because they are bringing evil upon themselves, whereas a child is thrust into the evils of society. The Elliot Bay book company wrote a review dealing with Kozol and his choice of setting. Claiming that it was a brilliant choice for this kind of story, the critic says: Jonathan Kozol speaks through hearts and minds of the children who live

daily in war zone of drugs, prostitution, gunfire, and illness. Children tell of their dreams and worries; those who want to get a good education, eat snowcones, or enjoy a small packet of cookies, deal with AIDS, rape, and hunger on a daily basis. This emphasizes the point that the children are able to see past all of the crime and poverty to their hopes and dreams. The critic concludes by writing, This is not an easy book to read, yet these children s stories are full of tenderness, and love, and grace. This is a neighborhood where people try to get by and that our country tires to forget(T.A.T. 1). That review is a summary of his genius. Kozol is able to write using the perspective of the poor, without trying to preach a reform. He leaves an ominous message and realistically