Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Chapter 9

[Behind the Beautiful Forevers]

In chapter 9 “Marquee Effect” of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo describes the scene as Asha and her family visits the farming village where she is from for a wedding. Throughout the chapter, Manju is confronting the idea of marriage as well as her aspiration to become a full time teacher.

Boo writes “Next spring, if she passed her state board exams, she’d have a B.A. degree. With another year of study, to be financed by selling one of the rented rooms in their hut, she’d be a qualified teacher with a B.Ed. She had no hope of securing a permanent job at a government school, since such jobs typically required paying enormous bribes to education officials. Small private schools were a likelier bet, although most of them paid so little that her classmates in the B.A./B.Ed program had begun to worry that they’d invested in a chump profession” (251-252).

Based on the reading, what is your understanding of the distribution of wealth and caste systems in Mumbai?

--Kacee Aldridge  

11 comments:

Jacqueline C. said...

Based on the reading,distribution of wealth and the caste system in Mumbai is unequal and based on who you know and your social class.Different regions have wealth while others have poverty.The text explains how the goverment has false promises and opportunity was limited among people.

Sandra N said...

The distribution of wealth and the caste systems leave a very slim window in which people can better themselves. The rich have all the money and the poor have nothing. The sad thing is that the poor must find a way to get a lot of money in order to have a slightly better chance of moving up financially. The caste system tells people that because they are born in a particular caste, they will live in poverty for the rest of their lives no matter how hard they work to get out. Those lucky enough to be born in a higher cast can live comfortably and take advantage of the unfortunate. This is not a good way for a society to improve itself. With people not being given equal opportunities to better themselves, the society will not move forward. There will always be a group of people not able to help the country become the best it could be financially, economically, and educationally.

Kayleigh E. said...

It seems to me that the distribution of wealth is very limited. Very few people have the majority of the wealth and the majority of the people have very little of the wealth. Also, it seems that it is very hard to change your wealth status. In the beginning of the chapter, they were speaking of teachers and how they have to be rich enough to bribe the officials to get a good teaching job. People go to school and get a degree to make more money, but you have to have money to make money. They said it is becoming useless to even get the degree.

Ashya Ford said...

After reading this chapter, I get the sense that funds are "misappropriated" within Mumbai. For a profession as important as teaching and educating children, you would think their would be the same across the board; however we see that it's not about the job but more so about the social class that's entertaining that position, which obviously only continues to hinder anyone's chances of obtaining better.
Ashya F.

Brenda W said...

In my opinion, the distribution of wealth and caste systems in Mumbai is highly biased. It is biased to those who have the resources and means to get ahead. Without the proper finances and connections, you are automatically at the bottom of the food chain. It is sad that she has to curtail her dreams and career aspirations because of her social class. She plans her life around the inequalities around her and that speaks poorly of the wealth distribution system in Mumbai.

Anonymous said...

From what I have read, the caste system is designed to keep those in power in power and those without wealth from gaining wealth. This creates the almost impossibility of allowing for people to move up and gain wealth. I would say it is similar to oligopoly, where a small number of people control the vast majority of wealth. It is a limited society where the only way to move up is to bribe your way to the top. The caste system initially places the restraints upon people and the unequal distribution of wealth reinforces it.

Marta A.

Jacquelene G said...

Based on the reading, I feel that in Mumbai, the distribution of wealth is not linear at all. From what I've read, all the money is concentrated at the top. Only crumbs trickle down to the lower class. There is a strong separation between the two social classes and very difficult to move up; which gives most of the lower class very little hope and ambition; except for Asha.

Candace P said...

The distribution of wealth and caste systems in Mumbai appear to have very strict boundaries: the high-class individuals are extremely wealthy and have the funds to invest and create companies in order to make more money, while the low-class individuals are poor and have barely enough or no money for food. The way of life within Mumbai is extremely set in stone- the caste system in which you are born in is the one that you will most likely die being a part of.

Jenee' B. said...

Based on the reading, the distribution is very uneven. Most of the city's income is concentrated at the top, with very little of it trickling down to the bottom. Also the caste system seems to be a major reason for it. Even though not everyone is as rigid about castes anymore (mostly middle and upper-class people), it already set the stage for the way wealth is distributed. The people that were historically on the bottom will probably always be at the bottom. The same with the few people at the top. This is reflected in the fact that despite their education and degrees, Manju and her classmates may not be able to find decent paying jobs unless they pay a hefty price to work at the government schools. So only the wealthy will be able to get such jobs. Practices like this keep the wealthy people wealthy and the poor people poor.

Breanna B. said...

Wealth in Mumbai is either all here or not there at all. There is no middle class. It is awful that one is born into a caste, unable to escape its restraints because of the monetary divide.

Kiara Gay said...

The distribution of wealth and caste systems in Mumbai is pretty much based on social class, and which class you were born into is the one you will live in for life. If you were born into a lower class system and you become a doctor, you still would never make as much money as someone born into a higher class who became a doctor and had the same education. It is almost as though they have a communist system within each social class.