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The Importance Of Literacy Essay

796 words - 3 pages

Is it important to be a literate person in today’s society? The ability to function well depends on whether or not a person is literate and can comprehend what is going on around them. If a person doesn’t have the basic ability to read, they will feel the stress and dependency on others because of their illiteracy. Illiteracy is a big problem because without the knowledge of reading, illiterate people can’t perform daily tasks and responsibilities in daily life. When all it would take is a mere two minutes out of your day, don’t you think illiteracy can be helped or even extinguished?
In today’s society illiterate people are looked at as “half-citizens” (Kozol 190). They are dependent on literate people to function daily. Think about all the things that must be read on a daily basis. An illiterate person would have to ask for help every time they came across something that was important and that they needed to understand in order to move on with their day. “Whether in perusal of a menu, selection of highways, purchase of groceries, or determination of affordable enjoyment, illiterate Americans must trust somebody else: a friend, a relative, a stranger on the street, a grocery clerk, a TV copywriter” (Kozol 192). The problem is not only that illiterate people are dependent on others, it’s also that the literate, well-functioning people of society aren’t always willing to put forth help. Help may only take a few minutes out of someone’s day, and to them be no big deal. For an illiterate person, those few minutes may be the defining of their lives.
As an example, I will talk briefly about my cousin, born into a broken home and forced to deal with illiteracy on a daily basis. Steven was brought up in a bad neighborhood and raised by the streets. His family simply didn’t care about anything other than how they would afford their next bottle of booze or pack of cigarettes. Growing up, he was never told he had to go to school; therefore, he only went on occasion. His lack of schooling in his younger years took its toll on him by the time he hit high school. Living in a bad neighborhood and brought up by gangs, Steven’s life was...

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