Summary of “Being Poor in the Land of Plenty”
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Summary of “Being Poor in the Land of Plenty” Spiral 75 John W. Fountain in his Upfront article titled “Being Poor in the Land of Plenty” describes the impact of poverty on teens. Fountain argues that teens have different perspectives on poverty depending on where they are. However, they share an awareness of the problems of being poor and optimism for the future. Fountain explains that one- third of poor Americans are under 18 and to illustrate how peer pressure makes poverty hard on teens, the author describes the lives of three poor teenagers living in different areas. The first example he cites is Marcus Anthony who lives with his seven siblings in a poor farming town. Despite his family earning only $25,000 a year, Marcus doesn’t feel poor because he has food and clothes. He isn’t worried about being fashionable. Unlike Marcus, Krystel Hibbon lives in an upper-middleclass suburb so she constantly worries about hiding her poverty with trendy clothes. Krystel works a part-time job to support her family buy the things that help her blend in. Finally, Fountain contrasts Krystal’s experience with David Ever’s. David lives in a tough inner city neighborhood. He and his family hope that his scholarship and continuing education will pull them out of poverty. Fountain concludes that despite their environmental differences all three kids are both aware of their poverty yet hopeful about their futures.