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The Shame of the Nation: A Critical Analysis
“The Shame of the Nation”: A Critical Analysis
The article under discussion here is written by Jonathan Kozol. This article is basically about the impacts of having two types of education on the sociology of a country. Kozol is of the opinion that the old idea of universal education is better than the disintegrated and different educational standards for different people. By saying global education he means that every kid in the country gets same quality and standard of education no matter how much the kid can afford to pay and whatever state or region he or she is living in. Through this article Kozol is actually criticizing and condemning the policy of treating different people in different ways with regard to education.
He deals with this policy as if it were just a punch line in an advertisement which seems very attractive apparently, but actually it is not the truth. Similar is the case with this policy. It seems to be an adequately strategic and economic policy designed to give appropriate education to every citizen. In reality, it is just educating a small part of the population and depriving the majority of it. As a result, all that is given to society is deprivation and discrimination, which pollutes the healthy sociological values and harmony (Gupta, 2005).
The way in which this article is written is such that the writer is not at distance from the students who are being badly affected by the policy. In fact, Kozol starts the article by telling us what the students told him in their letters written to him about what facilities they are provided with and which they are deprived of. It shows that the writer was in direct communication with the young students. Therefore, it is not a hypothetical article based on mere imagination and fantasies. Instead, whatever Kozol condemned, he had enough evidence and reasons for that.
If we critically analyze this article, it is evident from the title that the writer is going against the state or authorities. The use of the word “shame” indicates that something highly condemnable is prevalent. The severity of the word indicates the extent of injustice to the students of the Bronx who have written letters and complained to Jonathan Kozol. In addition, in the title, the writer has called it a shame of the whole nation, and not of just one institution of the country. He has generalized the concept of shame for all the citizens of the country, because children are the future of the nation and it is the duty and responsibility of every citizen to do whatever is possible to ensure the prosperous living standards of the future of the nation, which is in the hands of young students (O’Brien, 2012).
Another aspect of this article is that it a natural element of getting attention and sympathy of the readers as well as the authorities, as it includes the voice of the young and pure children who are complaining about their basic needs of living such as clean bathrooms, parks, music and art, etc. It is an impossible thing to assume that there will be a man or woman in this world who, after reading these letters, would not want to do something for these children. Every heart will feel sympathy for them. For Kozol, this is the primary goal which quite nicely seems to be achievable.
Kozol has also mentioned the names of the students along with their exact words from the letters. This may be an attempt to increase the authenticity and integrity of the article. As it is possible to get the sympathy of the readers by writing emotional tragedies based on fiction too, Kozol did not want any reader to have even a little doubt about the work which he has put up with so much sincerity.
A very important point in this article is that the children who have written the letters to Kozol and asked for the solution of their problems are studying in the third grade. It implies that the negligence of the authorities is not affecting the students who are mature, or even a little mature. The point of shame for the nation is that the children of such a young age have been forced to complain about their needs and basic .............
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