revised_paper - 1 Kelly Lozano Mr Wynter English...

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1 Kelly Lozano Mr. Wynter English Composition 21 July 2020 Illiteracy: A Tragedy for Society Despite literacy shown as a human right to basic education, there are many who have never grasped the understanding of their own language. The reality adult illiterates face is highlighted in Jonathan Kozol’s “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” where one could argue that illiteracy has undermined illiterates to successfully function in society, leading them into an inescapable cycle of poverty. This has directed them with impotent rage because: their failure to decipher directions or pinpoint their precise location has manifested a fear of travel within illiterates; illiterates face the difficulties of finding employment that doesn’t require literacy, causing economic instability; and illiterates live an unassured existence owing to the unawareness of their rights in medical procedures or the understanding of health risks if they are unable to read their doctor’s note. With illiteracy being an issue for many adults, it is clear how it has caused them many drawbacks on opportunities in their lifespan. Illiterates are virtual prisoners because of their failure to decipher directions or pinpoint their precise location. It has created this fear of travel, leaving them clueless as to where they are or where they will be going. This idea is supported by the quotation: “Geographical paralysis becomes a bitter metaphor for their entire existence. They are immobilized in almost every sense we can imagine. They can’t move up. They can’t move out. They cannot see beyond.” Without
2 the understanding of their precise location, they are never certain if they’re taking the right bus or subway that heads home. They’re not able to tell how far they are or if they already passed

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