Free «Life at the Bottom by Theodore Dalrymple» Essay Sample


Theodore Dalrymple who is the author of the book entitled “Life at the Bottom” carries a major discussion of today’s underclass generation and brings out compelling ideas overriding its destructive behavior.   The book brings to light the three R’s elemental for identifying the world we reside in and these aspects are reality, rationality, and readability. The underclass has been created over time due to moral decay of the people who their only work would be in the factories but they have neglected this and since they have nothing to do they turn into robbery, mugging, and drugs. The author throughout the book argues that the rot in the society is brought out by the liberals since they took over the manner in which the social order runs itself and therefore ruined it by instilling their absurd cuddly philosophy of being good to people. Nonetheless, the underclass people always blame fate as the reason they were for instance involved in a robbery shootout, or even stab someone where they seem to argue out that they never commit these crimes deliberately (Ben-Ami, n.d.).



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The arguments raised by Dr. Dalrymple in the Life at the Bottom book show some accuracy in explaining the causes of underclass misery in the United States. The choices the underclass people make highly determine their destiny where for instance, I was reared in a lower-class household which dropped directly from a prestigious middle class to an underclass after my father would not end alcohol consumption and spending a lot of money on irrelevancies rather than vital things like electric bill and rent.  Similarly to the numerous people portrayed in Dalrymple book, my father established fault for his life adversities in everything and everyone instead of blaming himself for lacking individual control in the issues of money, alcohol and even his temper.

Most single parents have been forced to live in welfare or even worse survive from hand to mouth simply because they have given in to men and at the end found themselves raising around five kids from different men. The level of poverty amongst the single mothers in the country has been on the rise in the past few decades even though these mothers work many hours so as to support a family of four or five children. However, through all these troubles and evidences of escalating poverty among the single parents the women blame the men and they see men as their basis of all their problems forgetting their own promiscuity and the perceptible lack of familiarity concerning the essentials of birth control measures (Kaufmann, 2012).

Therefore life in U.S. shows a lot of parallelism in terms of life to the Britain underclass as described by Mr. Dalrymple. There has been widespread gambling in bingo parlors and casinos all across the country where many people have lost quite a large amount of their savings. Gambling is addictive and for instance a study carried out in the State of Iowa revealed that about 110,000 citizens (5.4%) adults were problem gamblers or lifetime pathological gamblers. Majority of these gamblers interestingly blame the bingo parlors or casinos for their predicaments forgetting that they are solely responsible for all their fates (Horn, n.d.).

Education has been attributed to either promote the gaining of social class and its lack or rather insufficient education makes people remain in their underclass status for the rest of their life. Lack of intellectuality constructs has destroyed many societies whereby the race is not a determinant in such cases. In the U.S., the public school structure inadequately educates youthful people thus parting them with hardly any skills to make a civilized living, his phenomenon generates a criminal situation of domestic violence where robber activities become more common and wars are unleashed so as to control territory for promotion illegal drugs. Now that’s what educational inadequacy has resulted in the country and studies have shown that the rate of crime is always inversely comparative to the culprit’s level of education. In underclass communities where even parents don’t take the initiative of stressing to their kids the importance of education tend to have more children out on the streets, joining gangs, doing drugs, and eventually ending in prison (Castillo, n.d.).

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There are several arguments which the author comes up with but seemingly they don’t apply to the life of the underclass in the United States. In the U.S., are more occupied with improving their living status than letting trivial issues like couple beatings get on their way. The legal system is straightforward on the issue of marriage disagreements and after all there has no-fault law has been in use and divorce can be requested right forth. Brutal men are taken care of by the legislation and women have the right to demand for their kids’ fathers to financially take care of them or face the law.

The public institutions in the country are quite numerous and many intellectuals as well as spiritual leaders work hand in hand with parents to ensure that the children are sensitized on the issue and importance of education. The schools take the initiative to train and educate all the students in attendance without discrimination and therefore in each level of education the youth are presented with useful tactics on how to tackle life. Discipline is also a core feature instilled in these learning institutions and therefore the arguments of Dalrymple concerning learners being fed with destructive garbage of political rightness doesn’t apply in the U.S. educational system (Castillo, n.d.).

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There have been numerous people in the country that struggled in education while in underclass setting but managed to surpass the odds and pull themselves out of poverty. The system of education the author is describing totally doesn’t exist in the country. Most states advocate for a compulsory education to all children and actually provide the services free or even at subsidized fees. Needless to say, also poverty has been noted to be a common factor in promoting bad behavior and most crime related activities. The author points out that poverty doesn’t play a role in crime but statistics have revealed that kids from relatively poor backgrounds tend to engage in crime activities as a way to boost their financial status. Moreover, there are essential necessities that the state offers to its citizens like medical care, and food but it’s the law that compels the government to take care of its people (Kaufmann, 2012).

The public policies which are governed by the government and instigated by intellectuals are not responsible for creating the underclass society. In fact such policies are helpful in leveling the playing ground in the society and ensuring that every child be it he/she is from a poor or rich family acquires education since its her/his constitutional right. Moreover, the government doesn’t hinder the underclass from struggling for their living, but rather provide them with local initiatives to make sure that they get the capacity to uplift their life status.

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The future of underclass in the country is really uncertain but several studies have shown that in the future life in this social status would get worse primarily due to the increasing level of chronic joblessness in the country. There are no enough jobs for the semiskilled and unskilled workers and more so the country’s economy is almost at the climax of a general business cycle and therefore most of the workers who require a lowest wage job are able to get one but good jobs are in massive shortage. Therefore the future of underclass will be facing a worse time that now due to uncertainties in the world economies as well as the increasing immigration and population growth in the country as this severs the capacity of the economy to sustain a  larger workerforce.


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