Henry Lawson, conflicted and brilliant was hailed as one of the “greatest writers of Australia” during the Colonial Period. Famous for his authenticity and vivid realism, many historians have often noted that Lawson acted as a spokesman of sorts for Australians and is acclaimed as a landmark in Australian literature. From one of his many works stems the short poem entitled “Poverty” depicting the themes of poverty, penury and hypocrisy. Lawson attempts in two stanzas to capture the emotions of those who are under financial difficulties.
He also touches upon several social issues of how people, specifically preachers and poets, often try to glorify and romanticize poverty as a virtue. He criticizes the hypocrisy of those who cite poverty as an asset, something to be thankful for and a building block of character when they themselves know nothing of the realities and actualities of being poor as it goes against all his personal notions and sentiments of poverty being the root of all evil –“the cause of half the crime, the cause of half the error! – The new mantra nowadays is how everybody is looking to lead a more “meaningful” life. Greed and avarice is now copious in nearly every social circle and it compels practically everyone to step back once in a while to ask: Is this worth it? Most often the temptation and thirst dominates the small seeds of doubt and it is on this note which is most similar to “Poverty”. World population has nearly tripled in the last 50 years alone and the intense pressure and the constant rat race to make more money [and lots of it] increases along with the competition.
Despite the fact the many people hold the opinion that poverty is a curse, statistics and surveys on people with a lower quality of life has indicated quite the opposite. On the contrary, poorer people tend to be more at peace and contented with life. With none so many material possessions to blind them from the true essence of life, they are able to lead a humble existence and learn to enjoy small joys and little surprises, in exact accordance with the phrase: Money can’t do you everything.
Throughout the ages, this world has changed and shifted until it has become the nearly unrecognizable haven it is today to nearly 6. 3 billion people, modifying and shaping societies and judgements along with it. Stronger and more dominant personalities may prevail over weaker minds but the essential truth remains the same. You are your own person with individual opinions. So the same principle applies to the question: “Is Poverty still relevant today? ” This being a firmly subjective question, there is no real universal truth or answer for it. Only what you think.
Courtney from Study Moose
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