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Poverty is one of the social ills that many societies and nations are still grappling with. The nation of turkey is a classic example of these nations. Books are one of the ways used to expose this problem. This is clearly depicted by the author of the novel snow, Orhan Pamuk. In this book, the author squarely discusses the theme of poverty. Simply put, after reading through the novel, I can confidently say that snow is one of the most surreal, touching, and engaging books I have read in a long while. All through, the author creatively captures the attention of the reader without watering down the content and flow of the storyline. After reading the book attentively, I was able to identify several issues. They include globalization, colonization, women rights and poverty. In this paper, I settle to specifically discus in depth the issue of poverty.
The factors responsible for the poverty
The novel begins with arrival of Kar, the journalist from Frankfurt where he had spent twelve years in political exile. The main reason of his return was purported to be his mother’s funeral. But after reading through the entire book the reader is able to establish that Kar’s return entailed other vested interests such as to investigate city’s mayor murder and to look into suicides committed by young girls after removal of head scarves. Also to be included in Kar’s list of hidden motives is seeing Ipek, a beautiful woman whom she knew as a student. Ipek is now divorced and she lives in a shabby hotel. This brings the reader to encounter poverty in the book (Pamuk 123).
When expounding on the issue of poverty, we can easily refer to the main theories explaining this social problem. They include modernization, dependency and Marxist theories. All the above stated theories have a common denominator, and that is explanation of origin, cause, and effects of poverty. According to John Isbister (31) modernization theory links the affluent with the origin of poverty. This theory purports that the rich take advantage of absence of democracy, capital and technology among the poor and then tries to correct these problem but at their own motives and to their advantage. This can be witnessed in the novel by behaviors of the high and mighty in the society who exploit the vulnerable such as widows.
The dependency perspective stands to oppose arguments of modernization. Significantly dependency theory fronts that the economic growth and prosperity among the advanced capitalist nations is one of the causes of the third world poverty. This theory shades more light why we should believe that development of the industrial systems in Europe and America, essentially evolved and impoverished the poor societies in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Isbister 31). The main character in the novel is coming from a first world country and reading between the lines we can deduce some elements of dependency theory, from history and current affairs.
Marxists theory pays attention to the class of poor countries and the methodologies of exploitation, that is, for the suitability of extra production by the principal players (Isbister 31). The women in the novel are overworked but the real beneficiary of their sweat is men and those in power.
Coping with poverty
The reality of poverty is undeniable in this book. Consequently several characters try different things to counteract this unfortunate reality. However, most of the tactics employed here are unethical, selfish and ill motivated. The notion of men to take advantage of women for their selfish ambition is sad and regrettable. Several men in the society seek power for their own gain. The main character seeks opportunities abroad. In as much as it is believed that Kar was sought political exile, am quite convinced that this was a means of job opportunities hunting mission. He comes back as an influential social icon.
In my opinion, it is rather sad that those expected to work hard and revive the economy are the very people exhibiting heights of laziness and selfishness. Men in this society are a great let down. Instead of the main character using his profession for the betterment of the society, his undertakings are driven by the love of women. Additionally men in this culture are highly exalted, sad to say, nearly treated as gods. The culture has continued to persist over generations because it has really deep roots. Unfortunately from the look of things, this trend shows no signs of coming to a close any time soon. Therefore, it is a reality that women living in this part of the world shall have to contend with for a little bit longer. The novel brings to play depiction of the key theories explaining the problem of poverty. These theories are modernization, dependency and Marxist. Different scholars take different views on sincerity of these theories. All in all, the most vital thing is search for a solution to poverty problem and not just theories and books.
Isbister, John. Promise not kept. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.
Pamuk, Orhan. Snow. New York: Vintage, 2005. Print.