I Never Knew This Could Be Hard

Topics: Homelessness, Writing, Homelessness in the United States Pages: 2 (686 words) Published: September 3, 2012
Leo
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Barbara Lazear Ascher and Anna Quindlen both write an essay which signifies their opinion about homelessness based on their observation on the society. Their essays states how people characterize and treat homeless as others. Ascher and Quindlen’s work also have message that they want readers to know and understand. On Ascher’s essay “On Compassion,” she uses an example and symbolism such as the two homeless men to denote something. The first man who was mentioned on the first paragraph tells how people treat homeless as others and how they react upon them as if they will harm. The other man who was mentioned on the seven and eight paragraph tells how the people are being compassionate with them. Though the French woman seems like not compassionate because of the way she acts on the man. That is why Ascher questioned why the French woman fed the man. She also said is it because of “Pity? Care? Compassion? Or does she simply want to rid her shop of his troublesome presence?” I think the woman just want to rid off the man because if she’s really compassionate she would not give him a food from his arrival. But I was wrong because Ascher said on the third sentence of the ninth paragraph, “If expulsion were her motivation she would not reward his arrival with gifts of food. Most of the proprietors do not. They chased the homeless with their midst with expletives and threats.” Ascher also mentioned the solution for the homeless people, which is to move them off the street and into Bellevue Hospital. She also said that the New York Civil Liberties Union questioned “whether the rights of these people who live in our parks and doorways are being violated by involuntary hospitalization.” Ascher doesn’t believe that one is born compassionate. She said “Compassion is not a character trait like a sunny disposition. It must be learned, and it is learned by having adversity at our windows, coming through the gates of our yards, the wall of our towns,...
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