How the other half lives Essay

Submitted By anthonymiano10
Words: 442
Pages: 2

Children living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in which How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis was written, had extremely difficult lives. The use of child labor in the many sweatshops of the city is brought into the light in this book. Food, orphans, lodging arrangements, and the overall standard of living is poor for most children. In Riis’s book, he tells us real life experiences of these children in which he has witnessed using statistics to show extreme conditions.
Most families had several children each, meaning overcrowding in apartment buildings and other tenements. In one tenement, officials counted 142 residents in 40 families, or about three or four children per family. This overcrowding and an abundance of poor families meant that most children didn't attend school, or have any education for that matter. A general lack of education in large cities increased and encouraged delinquency. Children also lacked an understanding of the outside world. They stayed inside in cramped apartments or lived on the muddy streets. "...his only bed was a heap of dirty straw on the floor, his daily diet a crust in the morning, nothing else." Riis said about a young child he saw.
Infants were often left by a mother who could not afford to take care of a child so they had to leave them on the streets in the hopes that another family would take them in and the child would grow up with a better life than she could have given it herself. However, very few abandoned children actually managed to survive. These unfortunate infants had a much higher death rate than the other children and even reached about…