Amazing Grace

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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What is grace? Grace is an extension of time that is granted after a set date. Amazing Grace is a gift from God and sometimes results in a second chance. In the novel Amazing Grace; The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, Johnathon Kozol touches an issue which many of us chose to ignore. He provides a new window with which we can view our culture. It forces you to gaze closely on a part of society that has been conveniently hidden from our attention.

Kozol gave the gift of a new world view. Having grown up in middle class America, surrounded by materialism, food, shelter, safety and a loving family my past experiences with the hungry and homeless were next to nothing. Apart from the occasional pleas for money and handouts from downtown beggars, I never really put a face with a name on those "less fortunate" than me.

Kozol's engaging style kept me glued to the pages. With literary devices he introduced me to names and faces that were real, names and faces that struggled for survival, names and faces that hurt and cried like me but in a different way that I have never really been exposed to. The "less fortunate" were no longer strangers and theives. They were specific people who lived on a specific street with specific problems.

In order to keep fresh in the reader's mind the inconceivable world that has been introduced, Kozol uses "unsettling metaphors." Kozol also uses the childrens positive character traits and the social assumptions which Americans commonly use as excuses to introduce a whole new world with a whole new set of problem and ideas.

The first metaphor is found in the rain. Many soaked teddy bears were found hanging from the branches of trees in...