i found it interesting that semi criminal/poor areas were located across the street from the middle/upper class areas. i guess those streets would be the cheaper areas to live, for the rich
Archive for February 1, 2008
I’m pretty sure most people will say “Wow! I didn’t realize there were so many poor people.” I disagree, I knew there were people struggling. Whats bothered me was the fact a family making a decent living could literately cross the street and find starving friends, or sometimes they simply needed to go next door. The detail of the maps showed my this like no other. Where as today we have, quote unquote, “poor districts” back then it was a poor room in a building. Which makes me wonder how people didn’t grasp the reality of the situation…
From everything this class has taught me, it has become quite apparent that the wool had been pulled over my eyes until now. I’m sure that I’m having a similiar reaction to the knowledge of such a large poverty level as would a foreigner. The maps bring a visual element that is even more shocking than statistics alone. The study was so comprehensive that a single street, a spanse covered in fecal matter and infested with disease, was the barrier between the semi-criminal and the well-off of the region. It’s mind boggling how he could narrow it down to a specific building in an area instead of a block corner. I applaud Booth for the amount of time and extreme effort that went into his study. If I had been around and not terrified of contracting a life-threatening illness by crossing the street, I would gladly have contributed my time and resources to this worthy cause.
Its funny how sometimes someone proves the exact thing they were trying to disprove… Its like when (as the family legend goes) an old employee in my great grandfather’s bakery doubted the ability for a gas burning oven to cook. This was the first gas oven he had ever seen, and did not believe it could cook.. so to see how it worked.. he turned on the gas and then stuck his head into the oven. He then could not see and had no flashlight (of course) so he struck a match….. and well you get the idea.
This is similar to what Mr. Booth’s poor maps did. It seems to me as though he did not think that london was as bad as it was cracked up (perhaps down?) to be. It seems as though he wanted simply to see how common the poor really were. Of course, as we all konw, the maps he created clearly demonstrate how depressingly common poverty was in Victorian london. If he was alive today, i am sure he would be thankful that he got to do the map then as opposed to now, because (having taken him already a ton of time) modern london is significantly larger than its victorian counterpart.
Mr. Booth really did institute an interesting way of looking at poverty, but i would be tempted to argue that not only does it allow us to see where the poor people live, and help us study them, it also allows us to study all of london socity of the day. It was a fairly good call on his part i would say.
In closing…. haiku:
Snow falling from sky.
White pillows cover the grass.
People get all wet.