Illiterate Effects on Society

Topics: Functional illiteracy, Writing, Literacy Pages: 3 (942 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Kozol's essay presents us with the strong message of how being an illiterate person can take a large toll on your life. Illiterate's have little control on what is going on around them and must bestow all faith in strangers. As said by James Madison, “A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives". In our society, you must be educated to have any sort of impact on the way our lives are governed. Through education you can in a sense learn to be your own government.

"The number of illiterate adults exceeds by 16 million the entire vote cast for the winner in the 1980 presidential contest. If one third of all illiterates could vote… Ronald Reagan would not likely have been chosen president." (Kozol, 230). This quote from Kozol's essay shows just how big of an impact illiteracy has on our society. As he said if only one third were capable of voting not just by looking at the pictures, but understanding all candidates viewpoints on what really matters then they could completely turn around any election. The fact that there are over sixteen million illiterate adults in America is astounding; how can that many people have been neglected and set aside? Because of their not being able to read or write, our country as a whole is being dragged down and perceived by others as more of a joke then an actual threat to be reckoned with. If that many Americans are basing their entire vote solely on how the advertisements look and which commercials are more effective, then who should take our political system seriously? Illiterate people put all faith into those around them and must rely on what they tell them to make all of their decisions in life. Someone could tell them, oh vote for so and so, they will definitely make a change in our government, and the illiterate person will have to take the word for it and vote for them. It really makes you question every election our country has ever had; there are people out there who...
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