The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society
Illiteracy in America can have negative and devastating effects on society as a whole. The effects that illiteracy has range from embarrassment to low self-esteem as well as high crime rates. Illiteracy seems to have an even more devastating effect in the lower income communities. Based on that, Johnathan Kozol wrote “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society,” that was an article in Illiterate America (1985) to show how illiteracy lowers people’s quality of life, reduce the education, and prevents them take part in democratic society fully.
Negative effects of illiteracy in America are also heavy in politics. One has to wonder how someone who cannot read or write manages to vote. In order for a person to vote or make a wise decision about who they should vote for, and one must know how to read. As Jonathan Kozol writes”: The number of illiterate adults exceeds by 16 million the entire vote cast for the winner in the 1980 presidential contest. If even one third of all illiterates could vote, and read enough and so sufficient math to vote in their self-interest, Ronald Regan would not likely have been chosen president. There is, of course, no way to know for sure” (253). Most illiterate people that do vote based on what the person looks like but not for what they know about the person and what he or she can do to help. If 60 million people in the United States cannot read, then they cannot cast a vote truly representation of their opinions. As Kozol Claims, the United States has in fact become a government “of those two thirds whose wealth, skin color, or parental privilege allows them opportunity to profit from the provocation and instruction of written word” (253).
Every day, the illiterates suffer in the panic of life that they cannot understand. It can affect their parenting roles when the illiterates cannot read or write note to their children’ teacher, even they are not able to help with the homework....
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