Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Poverty Poverty is a problem. A large problem in most countries. Millions of children around the world sit on street corners each day begging for change, food, and love. Begging for a chance at life. There are two major classifications of poverty, personal and social. Personal poverty, such as the lack of proper food, filthy living conditions, and broken families is at the core of below-standard living. Social poverty is more complex and not as easily recognized, yet it definitely exists. Social poverty is the abuse of power, the corruption of government, and instability of institutions, and prejudice. Poverty is a problem, yet a problem of even greater importance is pinpointing where poverty commences. Are the traits listed above causes or effects? There are answers to be found in Shiva Naipaul's A Hot Country and North of South. In both works, which are very different in plot, but similar in theme, novelist Naipaul depicts the fateful and never-ending cycle of poverty and the disastrous effects it has upon society.

Poverty is a trap seldom escaped. When the main goal is purely survival, often privileges such as education and opportunity are forgotten. The mere search for necessities such as water, food, and shelter can become the soul purpose in life, leaving no time for progress or betterment. In A Hot Country, Naipaul chooses a story of a struggling salesman to prove this point. Aubrey St.-Pierre, is dedicated to "the betterment of society" through the educational books that he sells at the Aurora, his bookstore. He claims to only sell works which "provoke thought and kindness", but in reality there is no one to buy his books. No one has time for betterment. Dina, Aubrey's assistant, the first to understand this: There were long periods when she did not have...