The Conflict Perspective of the under Privileged: In "There Are No Children Here" by Alex Kotlowitz.

Essay by Ericindtown@aolHigh School, 12th grade September 2005

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In "There Are No Children Here", Alex Kotlowitz writes a powerful, sometimes discouraging but always hopeful book. Alex Portrays two inner city brothers, who live in a world of crime, poverty, and with little hope for an adequate education, equal housing, and a safe community. Lafeyette and Pharoah demonstrate how structural forces control the poor. The education of Pharoah and Lafeyette proves inadequate to any human standards. Gangs also confirm that structural forces control the poor. Finally, the boy's housing authority works as a fake philanthropist and crushes their family life. These structural symbols control the boy's life and strangle their every chance from escaping the Chicago ghetto.

The Chicago Housing Authority neglects to take care of the projects it is assigned to maintain. They often do not have the necessary funds to maintain the buildings. Workers at the Chicago Housing Authority are often more concerned with covering up their mistakes in the face of scandal than helping maintain the buildings.

The family relies on welfare and federal assistance for support. They cannot afford most luxuries and many necessities; therefore, life is an ongoing struggle to survive. When LaJoe goes to the welfare agency for fraud she is prosecuted for helping her family. Paul, LaJoe husband briefly stays over at her house; the welfare company tells LaJoe that she will not see anymore benefits because of false information. The welfare agency confirms that in fact Paul lives over at Lajoe's house, making her ineligible for welfare. Lafeyette sees his mother in pain and confronts her. Lafeyette asks his mother "what you worrying about?"(Kotlowitz 98). LaJoe explains that the welfare agency will cut the family benefits because of Paul. Lafeyette is furious and screams at his mother, "You ought to put them out, all of them," (98) Lafeyette says that he...