McMahan Essay 3 LITR-221 - McMahan 1 Joshua McMahan Valerie...

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McMahanJoshua McMahanValerie ToberLITR-22124 April, 2016Homeless People Here and ThereThere are a lot of forms of homelessness in this world. While the issue is definitely important inside the United States, the global problem of refugees is an even bigger case. Both groups are homeless, but one group does not even have a country of its own. Both groups seem unwanted, but the refugees have larger numbers and are creating much more controversy around the world.In John Grisham’s essay on homelessness, he tells stories about people that he encountered when he began researching for a book about “street law.” His point was to open people’s eyes to the issue, because he believed people had forgotten about this social and economic issue over years. An article written by Benjamin Weinthal in The Atlantic describes stories of Syrian refugees, a very different kind of homelessness. While some American homeless people are certainly struggling and poor, the Syrian refugee problem that Weinthal describes is even more trouble some.Just as there are some similarities between traditional homelessness and displaced refugees around the world, there are some comparisons between these two articles. Each of the articles describes issues that involve less fortunate people groups. Each author even describes how these groups are unwanted and how they are passed over by the larger societies around them. Grisham describes a family “running from something,” and Weinthal describes entire communities running from ISIS and Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. This is interesting, 1
McMahanbecause usually people do not think of the homeless in the United States having families, but rather beggars and winos. While this is an interesting connection between our homeless and the world’s homeless, Weinthal points out that there are far more homeless families in the refugee camps than in US cities.Another similarity is how each article uses specific stories to explain a bigger issue. Grisham talks about an angry panhandler, “mothers clinging to their kids,” and ladies singing hymns. Weinthal talks about a Syrian farmer and his young son, a rebel soldier, the Daham family, Mahmoud the teacher, and Ipek Kizil the student. Grisham mentions the “overworked criminal justice system,” and how police are trying to push homeless people to worse parts of thecity. Weinthal interviews a protester named Tuncay Tonemis, who blames the refugees for the problems in his own country. Both authors used specific stories, to help the reader relate better to the problems that they do not know about. While Grisham tells some vague stories about homeless people he encounters, the reader gets the impression that Weinthal is just scratching thesurface of stories from refugee camps in Turkey and Syria.

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