Invisibility

Ashley Bontempo

Essential Questions

  • What does it mean to be invisible?

  • How can you raise awareness about invisible populations?

What does it mean to be invisible?

By dictionary definition it means:

1. not visible; not perceptible by the eye:

2. withdrawn from or out of sight; hidden:

3. not perceptible or discernible by the mind:

4. not ordinarily found in financial statements or reflected in statistics or a listing:

5. concealed from public knowledge.


My definition would be: to be known about but ignored, not caring about it/them.

CHILD HOMELESSNESS

“Child homelessness in the United States is at an all-time high, according to a new report. One in 30 children is homeless — a total of 2.5 million around the country. But these kids are often invisible, crashing with their families on friends’ couches, sleeping in all-night diners or hopping from motel to motel from week to week.”

Society is telling me that homeless children are invisible. NewsELA says that “One in 30 children is homeless — a total of 2.5 million around the country. But these kids are often invisible, crashing with their families on friends’ couches, sleeping in all-night diners or hopping from motel to motel from week to week.” (NewsELA). What they are trying to tell me is that homeless children don’t have the privileges a “normal” child has. They can’t have a meal whenever they want, they can’t just watch TV when they are bored, and they don’t always have a place to sleep. While 2.5 million children may be homeless in the U.S., we aren’t doing anything about it, which is why so many people classify them as invisible.

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements

“Then a thought runs across her face and she grins. “But don’t worry. ‘Cause if I go to my mom or dad - or anybody - and I say ‘Hey guess what! I drank some cocoa today with this invisible boy,’ who do you think is going to have a problem - you or me?””

In this piece of text, Alicia explains that if she tells her parents something out of the ordinary, she seems to have issues. (Clements, 92-93). This shows me that Alicia feels like her blindness makes her seem crazy. In the book, Andrew Clements wants to make Alicia’s blindness make her invisible, and that she is identified by her blindness. In this instance, invisibility is not being seen as yourself.

The Circuit

“The garage was worn out by the years. I had no windows. The walls, eaten by termites, strained to support the roof full of holes. The dirt floor, populated by earthworms, looked like a gray road map.”

This section of the story explains what the family’s new “home” looks like. (Jiménez, 68). This is the first time in the story we see the family move. We see that they struggle to even find a place to work, and then when they get a place, it is worn down, and is less than what they need. Because the family just needs to work, their other needs such as comfort, sanitation, and food are disregarded. They are forced to fend for themselves, and are not glanced at by their employer. This shows me that they are invisible because they are being used for their work and are not being cared for as the humans they are. They are seen as work animals, and it’s not fair to them.

How can you raise awareness about invisible populations?

You can raise awareness about invisible populations by telling people you know about them, and having them spread the word. If you personally know someone who you may think is a part of an invisible population, hold a fundraiser or event for them and that population. While it may seem impossible, introducing your town to a population that they might not have known about isn't that difficult, it just takes a little work and dedication. If we all pitch it, we can eradicate invisible populations.

Works Cited

"Child Homelessness at Record High, Report Says, "call to Action" for States." Newsela. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2015.


Clements, Andrew. Things Not Seen. New York: Philomel, 2002. Print.


Jiménez, Francisco. "The Circuit." The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico, 1997. 66-71. Print.