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The article”Born Poor and Smart” by Angela Locke is a story about a poor family using education to eradicate poverty. The author is skillfully using her own story to educate people that it is possible to eradicate poverty by being smart. According to the author, people chose to remain poverty and not the other way; however, there are smart options applicable to eradicate poverty. In this situation, Locke is beginning the story by showing the dilapidating state of her family. As the story progresses, Locke is showing readers how the family is turning around their situation by being smart. Finally, the author is showing readers how her family is excelling because of being smart. Therefore, an analysis, evaluation and response of the main points in the article are being discussed.

The Article ”Born Poor and Smart” by Angela Locke

The main point Locke is driving in this article is that poverty strives due to cooperation of poor people with poverty (Locke, 2005). The first way poor people do this is by ignoring intelligence. When poor people are trying to achieve education for purposes of eradicating poverty, other poor people in the society tend to mock them. According to Locke, in poor society, people tend to ignore intelligence and when a person is trying to gain education, they start discouraging him or her. An excellent example in the story is “Don’t get into your head that you are going to college. Learn something practical that you can help yourself” (Locke, 2005). In this case, the other people in the society are trying to discourage the poor person for trying to gain an education. Instead, they are advising her to learn practical skills that will help her to survive in poverty. In this case, the society is not eradicating poverty, since people are encouraging poverty. Therefore, Locke shows that ignoring intelligence by the society it is facilitating poverty.

The second main point Locke is trying to show readers is how to stop cooperating with poverty (Locke, 2005). In this case, Locke is showing how her mother was persevering in doing odd jobs, yet she had time to buy books that are educative and read instead of storing them. In addition to this, their mother was encouraging them to gain an education for purposes of becoming educated in the future and eradicating poverty. In the story, their mother did not talk to anybody about the books she was reading or the smart decision she was making to eradicate poverty because she knew that the society was going to discourage her to pursue the dreams (Locke, 2005). Finally, Locke is showing readers the smart decisions are succeeding in their family. This is because two out of four of her mother’s siblings have college degrees (Locke, 2005). This means that they have two people who are able to secure permanent white-collar jobs like the author did. Therefore, because of fostering intelligence in the family, they were able to eradicate poverty.

Education as a Way to Eliminate Poverty in the Article

The article is strategically written by Locke so as to make it easier for readers to understand the story. In this case, she is skillfully using her own life story to tell poor people surviving in poverty that they do not have to encourage poverty by cooperating with it. In this case, she is showing the poor people that intelligence or education is one way of eradicating poverty. Therefore, Locke is using a real life example of how their family was able to eradicate poverty with the use of education (Locke, 2005). Additionally, Locke is also showing readers challenges they are going to experience if they are going to use education as a gateway to eliminating poverty. Locke is making it possible for readers to relate with the story through the real life example of their family.

Moreover, Locke is strategically arranging the information in the article in a chronological sequence making it possible for readers to follow the idea. In this case, she is beginning the story with how they were poor. She is continuing the story by showing how her mother was trying to eradicate poverty in their family. Finally, she is concluding by showing how her mother’s techniques of education to eradicating poverty are succeeding (Locke, 2005).

On the other hand, Locke is placing some assumptions according to the structure of the article. This is where the article only shows one way of gaining intelligence through education and yet there are many different ways of gaining education. In this case, the structure of the article is biased. This is because it is assuming that readers already know the other ways of becoming intelligent. What Locke is assuming is that every poor person or family can succeed by only using her experiences. What she forgets is that there are many ways of killing a rat. For this reason, the article structure has certain assumptions that are making it difficult for readers to follow since they might not be able to use this option to gain knowledge.

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Despite the assumptions, I find the article to be convincing about the use of education to gain intelligence for purposes of eradicating poverty. In real life, apart from the Locke’s experience, it is true to say that poor people who are using education to gain intelligence as a way of eradicating poverty are always excelling. In this case, Locke’s family is an excellent example of how intelligence is improving the living standard of poor people. In addition, I tend to believe what Locke is writing is true. Poor people tend to stick together in pulling one another down. In this case, poor people cooperate with poverty and yet there is a way to eliminate poverty in the society.

On the other hand, certain areas are hard to believe in this article. Although people living in abject poverty are ignorant, it is hard to believe that nobody wants to improve his or her living standards to get out of poverty. For instance, Locke is suggesting that poor people tend to mock one another when one is trying to gain education to move away from poverty. In some cases, this is not true because people tend to encourage one another for purposes of succeeding. Additionally, they sometimes pull together their resources so that they can educate one person in the society in the aim of eradicating poverty. In addition, a person in the society was helping the author to gain education. For this reason, Locke is confusing readers on how different people living in the society turn one another down. However, apart from that I tend to believe the points in the article are true.


According to the article, Locke is trying to show readers especially the poor people that education to gain intelligence is a smart way to eradicate poverty in the society. In this case, Locke is using her own experiences with her family to show how they were eradicating poverty. This structure of driving the different point in the article is extremely easy for readers to follow. In addition to this, organization of the article is making it easy for readers to learn. This is where the author is using a lot of imagery to show people the dilapidating state of their family. She chronologically continues to show readers steps her mother is taking to eradicate poverty through smart decisions and intelligence. Finally, she is showing readers the evidence that they can make it happen through their own success as a family. 

Code: writers15

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