The Bend: How the Other Half Lives

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This article by Jacob A. Riis, has many defying parts that one might not notice at first glance. He really put things into prospective by going into great detail on what he was trying to address. With all the intriguing details that he put into writing it seems as though he was trying to get the attention of any health leaders such as the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and/or the WHO (World Health Organization) to help improve tenements of the deplorable living conditions in the slums of New York's lower east side. The OSHA program would have been a big help in this case, by helping to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for both male and female. The WHO program could have also been a big help by providing leadership on global health matters such as poverty, child maltreatment and labor conditions.

Riis went into the most detail about the streets in “the bend” and the living conditions and death rates that were happening in Bayard, Park, Mulberry, and Baxter Streets. With this being said there were a couple things that came to my attention as I read the article. When reading about the amount of space in a single household and then looking at the number of people that lived there was very erratic. This article mentioned that twelve men and women slept two or three to a bed and the rest on the floor in one home. I also noticed the cost at what the tenant was paying for certain rooms. The attic rooms were priced between $3.75 and $5.50 a month. This just comes to show you how run down this part of the “block” was. I was really caught off guard when Riis stated that all the women were seen carrying babies in a sling, firewood on top of their head and loads of decaying vegetables in their apron all at once while the men stood around talking and smoking, this seemed to have caught my attention because I would think that the men would do all the hard labor work while the women did their daily duties as women, which was to take care of the...
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