Irony: How Poverty Motivates Teens in the Reluctant Fundamentalist, the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and “the Balek Scales”

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In the early 1900’s poverty was at the highest point in the world. Poverty is still a problem in a lot of places all around the world but can also help some people. Most people think that poverty makes people have a terrible life and fail, but poverty actually helps people to strive for more. In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Arnold goes to Reardon because he wanted to be better, in The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid Changez goes to Princeton to get a good job so that he can support his family and live a good life, and in “The Balek Scales” by Heinrich Böll the Grandfather investigates the legibility of the scales to get more money. Changez, like most people, saw his poverty as a restriction even though it was actually the thing that pushed him to all the great things that he did. After college Changez realized that “Princeton inspired in me the feeling that my life was a film in which I was the star and everything was possible” (Hamid 3). Changez says that Princeton was the thing that inspired him to be better and to want better things but he doesn’t yet realize that his motivation to go to Princeton came for his poverty. When Changez was getting interviewed for a well paying job directly out of school he was asked about his academic, financial and social life. At one point the interviewer, Jim, talks about money and scholarships and how it is rare to get a full scholarship for a person overseas and all Jim can say is that “‘You must have really needed the money.’ And for the third time, I said, ‘yes’” (8). This is where it clicks in Changez’ mind that the poverty wasn’t a restriction, because if it were it would have stopped him from going to Princeton and achieving greatness there. Poverty was the driving force that led Changez to Princeton because he wanted to get a good job in America and provide money for his family in Pakistan. The firm that excepted Changez understood his financial situation and tried to help...
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