January 4, 2013
In Rick Bragg’s “The Widow’s Mite” and Floyd Dell’s “We’re Poor,” both stories were similar in that they utilized first person point of view when reflecting on their childhood of poverty. Although Bragg and Dell’s point of view is similar, their stories are different in that Bragg utilizes more complex diction and syntax to convey his recount of his childhood.
Dell and Bragg both use first person point of view when narrating their stories. A benefit of using first person point of view is that the audience is better able to empathize with the main character. The audience gets into the narrators mind and experiences the same emotions as the narrator. In these passages the audience commiserates with the narrators as they find out the truth about their financial issues. In addition, the audience can get a better image of the main character in regards to their personality. When describing his early childhood Bragg recalls being at a party for the less fortunate kids in town, “I wasn’t old enough to be ashamed about being the charity…” Bragg uses first person point of view to display to the audience how naïve he was as a child. Bragg initially did not realize that he was different from any other kids at his school so he did not feel self-conscious about being poor. This quote exemplifies Bragg’s innocence, which further causes the audience to empathize for him. In addition, when Dell made the realization that he was from a family of poverty he was in dismay and could not grasp the concept. Dell was forcibly “making [himself] get used to it”. The use of first person point of view demonstrates to the audience the emotions that Dell was feeling. The audience has a closer connection with Dell because they can share the feelings of frustration and resistance that Dell felt towards being poor.
The diction in Dell’s piece is very simple. The reason for this is to make it seem as though a child is writing. In the beginning...