Bean eaters: Poverty among the elderly.

Essay by bigjjay70University, Bachelor'sA, January 2006

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Gwendolyn Brooks was born in 1917, in Topeka, Kansas, but was raised and lived in Chicago until her death on December 3, 2000. As a child, Gwendolyn aspired to become a writer, with the support of her parents. At the tender age of 13, she wrote her first poem that was published in the magazine, American Childhood. Later, she submitted her poems to various magazines and newspapers. Her first collection of poems titled "A Street in Bronzeville", won Gwendolyn wide acclaim when it was released in 1945. The magazine Mademoiselle, named her one of their "Ten Young Women of the Year." She wrote over 20 books of poems, which resulted in several Awards for her writings. In her poems she confronted everyday social and cultural issues. She was not afraid to explore the conflict perspectives and social norms of society. Gwendolyn was the 1st African American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize, and considered one of Americans most distinguished poets well before the age of 50.

Gwendolyn wrote a poem titled "The Bean Eaters", in which she speaks of an elderly couple and how their lives have changed. In line 1, "They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair." is the readers 1st clue that the couple she is referring to is elderly. In line 2, "Dinner is a casual affair." refers to how dinner has become a constant in their lives. In lines 3-4, "Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood, Tin flatware." hints that the couple is not spontaneous, rather they take comfort in their routine. In line 5, "Two who are Mostly Good." implies that throughout their lives the couple has lived life as decent productive citizens. In lines 6-8, "Two who have lived their day, But keep on putting on their clothes And putting...