"The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”

The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society Jonathan Kozol I agree slightly with Kozol, that widespread illiteracy may undermine democracy in the United States. Kozol says that illiteracy ...

The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society

“The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”

Jonathan Kozol, “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”


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"The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society", Jonathan Kozol
The article The Human Cost of an illiterate Society, written by Jonathan Kozol, has opened many different perspectives on our Nation. The amount of illiterate people there are in our society and how there are many disadvantages for illiterate people. In addition, there are many questions about why our America contains illiterate people. Jonathan Kozol continuously mentions about the disadvantages to those who cannot read. For instance, “Illiterates cannot read the menu in a restaurant… cannot read the cost of items on the menu… cannot read the letters that their children bring home… cannot study school department circulars…cannot read instructions on a bottle of prescription…” (Kozol, 3), and many more. It is true that people who cannot read are having a more difficult time living because they need to base their lives on pictures and diagrams. However, at times diagrams/pictures can be mistaken like what Kozol has mentioned. But to begin with, why is there an illiterate society in America to begin with? Does every child have the opportunity to go to school for free? When Kozol mentions illiteracy does that mean people who only cannot read or people who are having trouble portraying the meaning of morals and cannot read because of lack of education?“The Human Cost of an Illiterate society”, written by Jonathan Kozol, is an interesting take on suffering of the illiterate society of America. Kozol has explained, via a plethora of relevant examples, how an uneducated American suffers in his daily life. The article has been divided into several portions, and each portion deals with a specific problem that is faced by the illiterate masses. Each portion also has examples of people who suffer due to lack of education. By the use of pathos and ethos, Kozol has tried persuading the "affluent American that squanders its wealth and ingenuity by failing to address these issues" (Kozol 38). However, there are several issues that remain unaddressed in this vivid account of the sufferings of the American nation, the author neither does justice to the topic by providing concrete and generic examples nor does he gives any means of correcting these problems. He also take this fact for granted that the issues resulting because of the lack of education in a provincial setting. The ambiguity of the examples and the use of personal life accounts lead the reader to question the description of the author.
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Jonathan Kozol has written a very good article on the personal costs of illiteracy, “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society,” which you can find at this link:

Free Essays on The Human Cost Of An Illiterate Society. Get help with your writing. 1 through 30

Response to "The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society"

Kozol, Jonathan. “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society.” In Reading Critically, Writing Well. 6th ed. Rise B. Axelrod, Charles R. Cooper, and Alison M. Warriner, eds. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002. 257-64. Print.

ENGL 1101:

The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society I wanted to cry

While, the topic is interesting to read understanding the fallacies committed by the author are also noteworthy. By using sentimental examples such as the child choking or of the dangerous impacts of smoking the author tries to appeal to the emotions of the readers. The author digresses from the main topic as he fails to, with justice, prove his claims. The author’s take on the way people are affected by education in America is more of a personal opinion about it rather than explaining the arguments he assumes the reader to know the statistics and facts. The assumption, the personal accounts and the excessive use of pathos, taking away from the credibility of the article and leaves the reader in a state in which he is unsure of what to take away from the article. The examples, appeal to the emotions of the reader, and do not make a strong argument. By using a proper research methodology and less use of emotional examples the author might have explained the issue in a better way. This piece is an eye-opened but not a reflection of ‘the human cost of an illiterate society’.