Marcus Mabry came from a poor family but worked hard to make into Stanford which contrasts heavily with his family’s suffering. Mabry describes his two very different lives between the poverty he and his family endured living in New Jersey and his newfound life at Stanford University. Marcus Mabry paints the differences of his two worlds to the reader in more than one way. First, he explains the economical differences between the two geographical areas, he describes his hometown as the slums or a place where people go to survive, not to live. In contrast, Stanford is a place of freedom and being worry free, where the world is perfect and there is no such thing as poverty, but Mabry gets a reality check every time he visits his family in New Jersey. He feels responsible for his family and wishes there was something he could do to help them. The fact that Mabry has encountered these life situations make him very proud of his accomplishments “Somewhere in the midst of all that misery, my family has built, within me, a “proud feeling.” Mabry followed his heart and put his education at a high priority in his life. Seeing the conditions his family was living in sparked a fire within him to do better and become someone. He knew that if he tried that he would succeed and make his whole family proud. Yet not only is he proud of himself, he is proud of his family for not giving up and breaking down even though they have every right to “As I travel between the two worlds it becomes harder to remember just how proud I should be – not just of where I have come from and where I am going, but because of where they are. The fact that they survive in the world in which they live is something to be very proud of, indeed” Although he may not be the typical student at Stanford, he knows that he comes from a strong family that support his decisions. He wants nothing more than to give what he can to his family and hates seeing them suffer.
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