Argument Essay - Strutz 1 Samantha Strutz ENGL 111-61 Prof...

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Strutz 1 Samantha Strutz ENGL 111-61 Prof. Gravely September 30, 2019 A Denial of the Unalienable Right of Liberty Reading is essential to the everyday American’s life. From grocery shopping or voting to waivers for surgery or the lease on an apartment, literacy is often taken for granted. The National Institute for Literacy approximated that in 1998, “22% of adult Americans, about 42 million people” were illiterate (Kelly 254). In the autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the author talks about his experience learning how to read, which helped him realize that as a slave in the south, he wasn’t truly free. This gives examples of how illiteracy removes the liberty of informed decision-making and opportunities, creating unsafe, unfair and occasionally humiliating dependency. These points show that illiteracy is a deprivation of freedom in America. Illiteracy inhibits the right to informed decision-making. Jonathan Kozol, in his essay The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society , claims that illiterate citizens, “cannot make informed decisions based on serious print information” (255). This privilege extends even to simple decisions such as shopping for groceries. The claim that labels are sufficient when shopping may be used as a counter-argument. To combat this, Kozol tells a story of a woman who bought a gallon of Crisco to feed her family, thinking it was the chicken on the label (259). Being unable

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