Response to “The Human Cost of an illiterate society” 1/30/2011 In “The Human cost of an illiterate society,” Jonathan Kozol attempts to convince his reader that illiteracy is extremely harmful to a society, and that it is the ultimate destruction of a human being’s life. He explains with great detail how being ignorant (unknown) at something so universal like being able to read the directions on a medicine label, can lead to a lifetime of hardship and long term agony.
Kozol develops his reasoning by contributing meaningful but real world examples on how being illiterate is dangerous and fatal. For example He uses not being able to explain where you are if something fatal was to happen, and not being able to understand the dangers of a cigarettes label with a surgeons warning on it. After giving a plenty load of examples, he then brings the discussion back to his central argument on how being illiterate can be costly. When a person does not understand what they have wrongfully done it can be difficult to prosecute or judge that person.
If he is not able to read then that person might not be aware that giving a child too much aspirin could result in overdose which can ultimately lead to death. The question that still remains is should that person be held accountable. According to today’s society the answer is still unknown but to protect the people of this society from that illiterate person, the answer is yes that person must be limited. What this ultimately means is that, he must be kept from society so that he won’t cause harm for his on ignorant habits.
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He will have to be watched, fed, and kept in an environment where he will always be stable. This top of living can cost a lot of money and this is the financial burden that cost a society so much money. In a way this is unfair because it is not this person’s fault that he can’t read, understand, and think critically. Illiterate people will always be in the dark, and they will always struggle with trying to figure out the differences between what’s wrong and what’s right.
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