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 --
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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.