Barbara Lazear Ascher's On Compassion

945 Words4 Pages
I have always been told to treat people kindly and to give a little to those that seem to be in need. A few years ago when I was passing a store near Disneyland, there was a man with a sign asking for money. My sister and her family walked on by and ignored him. I felt bad and pulled out some money my mother had given me before the trip.I handed the man five dollars with a shy smile and received a ,“ God bless you,” in return. With a small nod, I hurried to catch up to my companions to only be chided for giving him the money by my sister’s husband. He had told me that that man probably sits out there everyday and begs for the money to probably just buy himself drugs later. My brother-in-law made me out to be an aid in this strangers made up crimes and I felt bad. Even now, I wonder if I had done the right thing in giving him money. Author, Barbara Lazear Ascher, in her essay, On Compassion, draws attention to the homeless in New York and how they…show more content…
She uses imagery to create a definite separation between the homeless man and others on the street. As the man approaches the mother and child in a “buttonless shirt, with one sleeve missing”(1), it is blatant to see that this man is a nuisance and possibly a threat to the woman. “Her hands close tighter on the stroller’s handle as she sees the man approach”(1) and when he only grins and stares until “the baby weary of the unwavering stare, pulls its blanket over its head”(4) and the mother offers the man a dollar. He doesn't move for it at all, however until she “grows impatient and pushes the stroller before her, bearing the dollar like a cross”(5). Here, the audience may feel sympathy for the mother who was threatened by the silent man. After all, even the child was made uncomfortable by this stranger.The audience is left a little unsure and uneasy, relating back to similar incidents in their own

More about Barbara Lazear Ascher's On Compassion

Open Document