(QUOTES) Amazing grace is an extremely in depth view on how almost fifty thousand people in Mott Haven, South Bronx struggle with poverty, disease and just an all around suffering area. I feel that Kozol paints a really clear picture right off the bat on just how bad every day life is in Mott Haven. On page three Kozol states that "only seven of the 800 children do not qualify for free lunches. Five of those seven, says the principle, get reduced-price lunches because they are classified as only poor not destitute." In my view that pretty much states that one hundred percent of the children do have free lunch because their families can't afford to pay for them. The magnitude of that number is just astronomical. Another piece of this story that caught my attention was when Kozol says on page four "Some of these houses are freezing in the winter. In dangerously cold weather, the city sometimes distributes electric blankets and space heaters to its tenants. In emergency conditions, if space heaters can't be used, because substandard wiring is overloaded, the city's practice, according to Newsday, is to pass out sleeping bags." As I stated in the beginning, Kozol really paints a clear picture on just how bad Mott Haven is. People living with just sleeping bags, sounds to me like an a apocalypse. Throughout the course of amazing grace there seems to be one constant and that is religion. Kozol is able to shadow a young boy named Cliffie. Cliffie comes from a poor family that struggles day in and day out. During the time Kozol is following Cliffie around town, they stop at a pizza place to pick up three pieces of pizza. One for Cliffie, one for his mother and one for his father. On page eight Cliffie explains a story to Kozol about a previous pizza experience " How did you know that he was hungry if he couldn't talk" Kozol asking Cliffie about a homeless man. " He pointed to my pizza. What did you do? I gave him some! Were your parents mad at you? He (Cliffie) looks surprised by this. Why would they be mad? he asks. God told us, Share!" This might be one of the strongest parts of the dialogue between Kozol and Cliffie. I feel by Kozol explaining this story to the reader he is showing us that no matter how bad someone has it in life, they can still be good. Religion can be that barrier that divides the poor from the wealthy. If we really think about it, if someone is poor can we judge their character just based on that? Can we say to ourselves "Oh those people are poor they're just for themselves." I think this is something everyone must think about.
. St.Anns in Mott Haven