TKaM Modern Connection

By: Dylan D, Christina A, Ethan M, and Rohith K.

Main Idea

By the end of 2015 10% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty, $1.90 everyday. There are nearly 1.5 million americans who live on less than $2 a day. That figure has nearly doubled since 1996, a year when a major welfare reform bill was passed. The bill’s goal was to decrease government reliance by making the requirements stricter. This encouraged many to join the workforce, but those who weren’t able to find a job didn’t have the safety net anymore (welfare). Jobs at the bottom of the labor market don't pay well and shifts are always changing.

This article stated that less than 10% of the world's population is living off of $1.90 everyday. Even though the percentage is dropping it still has a heavy impact on society. However, the ~%10 percent of population that does live off an abnormally small income are considered very poor. Poverty still occurs throughout a higher percent as well.
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"I thought I had made things sufficiently clear. It was clear enough to the rest of us: Walter Cunningham was sitting there lying his head off. He didn't forget his lunch, he didn't have any. He had none today nor would he have any tomorrow or the next day. He had probably never seen three quarters in his life." (Lee 25)

"The Cunninghams never took anything they can't pay back—no church baskets and no scrip stamps. They never took anything off of anybody, they get along with what they have. They don't have much, but they get along with it." (Lee 25)


These quotes relate to the article about the increasing number of people living on two dollars a day, or less because in the book, Walter Cunningham's teacher noticed that he had not brought a lunch to eat. She offered to give him a quarter so he could buy one, but he declined. She did not understand why, so Scout speaks on Walter's behalf that he comes from a family living in poverty. The Cunninghams never took anything they can't pay back, and Walter knew that he wouldn't be able to pay back the quarter that his teacher gave him. His family is so poor that the only way to pay people back for them is to give them crops that they've farmed.

What is Poverty?

Poverty is defined as the state of being extremely poor. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Walter Cunningham exemplifies this definition. Just like in the article where an increasing amount of Americans are living with less than 2$ a day, his family makes almost no money. When they need Atticus' legal aid, they repay him with crops they crew, like beets or carrots.
TKM Walter Cunningham scene