My essay was about what it would be like to live as an illiterate person.

Essay by merylHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2004

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A Life of Inconvenience and Dependancy

Imagine yourself checking into a hotel. You are asked by the hotel clerk to sign your name to the register. Once again you get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You lower your head so as not to meet the salesclerk's eyes. "I'm sorry I don't know how" you sadly state. Anxiously you look around for your adult son. The clerk has called the manager over. They are whispering about what to do. You turn around to see a line of people behind you. Some are looking at you empathetically but it does not make up for the ones who are shaking their heads with annoyance. The manager says, louder than you wish, "If you don't know how then sign an X." "People who are illiterate are confronted with problems that range from inconvenient to insurmountable. They are often humiliated and constantly dependent on other people.

For an illiterate person, ordinary, everyday tasks can become difficult challenges. Going on a vacation could become stressful instead of relaxing and enjoyable. Finding your way through and airport without reading the signs is unimaginable. Navigating your car without reading road maps and signs would be near impossible.

Managing money could be very problematic for an illiterate person. It is possible that a great deal of their money could be lost or stolen. If one could not read, and interpret their bank statements, or sign their checks and other financial documents, would they even be allowed to have a checking account? It is likely that a great deal of an illiterate's money is lost on things accidently purchased. Packages and bottles could be easily mistaken for each other without reading the labels, so the wrong products would be bought. In the event a person could...