Poverty in the South: Living with the Bare Essentials









Stravato, Michael.Tropical Diseases: The New Plague of Poverty. Digital image. Nytimes. N.p., 18 Aug. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2012.   <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/tropical-diseases-the-new-plague-of-poverty.html?_r=0&gt;.

Some people in the south of the United States are experiencing poverty through broken down homes and living off the bare minimum.

The image by Michael Stravato features three men in the South of Texas in a town called Brownsville. These men are sitting in plastic folding chairs on the lawn outside their home. These men seem to be Latino and possibly related in some way. Circled in front of their house there is tall uncut grass, an old soccer ball, and a beat up table up against the side of the home. There is a TV on the table, it is shattered so they are staring at a blank screen.The broken roof and the distressed paint seems to be slowly crumbling. In the distance you can see part of a trailer and another beat up car. The three men seated have their backs to the camera and seem uneasy about their current situation. The door to the house is just an opening covered with a black tarp  nailed to a piece of wood. To the left of the door is one window which is covered by a plastic bag rather than glass; the wire to the TV is coming out through the window. Their house is coming apart on the side because the paint is chipping and the whole exterior is decaying.

If we interpret this image, we are able to clearly see these people live off the bare minimum. Their seating arrangement outside looks cheap and old, and their TV is shattered yet they continue to sit around it and watch the blank screen. They seem to have little to nothing. These three men seem isolated from the rest of society because their beat up home looks to be in the middle of nowhere with nothing but tall trees around them. Their one story house has only one window and one door, which are only covered by a piece of plastic taped against the wall.

We can also interpret from this image that these men might not have much money for food or clothing because they are not dressed very well with stains on their clothes and have no food or drinks beside them. There house seems to only have at least two rooms which is why there is barely enough room to sit inside their house so they are forced to watch television outside. These three men are Latinos living in Texas who probably make minimum wage and are unable to fix up their home or obtain a better life for themselves. Their beaten up house signifies that they have little to no income and are barely getting by, struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Brownsville Texas happens to be located on the Texas/ Mexico boarder and in this geographic location; poverty is a rising problem particularly for Latino Americans.

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