What are the definitions of poor and poverty? Many people hear the words poverty and have different meanings, so how do we know which definition and I poor is the correct one? According to many people poverty may mean a person who does not have any money to do the things they want to do, however most people can afford to live only on the things they truly need. This is just one example; there are many other definitions of the word poverty. Then what do people consider to be the meaning of the word poor?
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Some may say poor is not having enough money for that extra something at the supermarket or at the mall. What exactly are the true definitions of each word, and how do you tell the words apart and how do you know what to believe. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) the word poor means; wanting means to produce the comforts, or the necessaries of life; needy, indigent, destitute so destitute to be depended upon gifts or allowances for subsistence. These are the definitions from the (OED) a, very scholarly dictionary, how do we know that this is the correct definition of the word poor?
Just because it is the definition in a book that everyone seems to trust or because there has been so much research going into that definition, it still only gives you an idea of what poor actually means. So how do we know the difference between the right definition and the wrong, or less correct definition? Is there really a true definition of the word poor perhaps there is but we don’t know what the true meaning is and if we know the true meaning we may not even understand it. As for the word poverty what does that mean?
Also using the (OED) I found this definition, the condition or quality of being poor the condition of having little or no wealth or material possessions, indigence, destitution, want or deficiency in some property quality or ingredient the condition of being, poorly supplied with something the condition of yielding little unproductiveness. So how do we know that both of these are true meanings of the word poverty? It could also be an educated guess as the word poor. I believe we must take the learned definitions of each word and merge them with our own opinions and the situations in which they are used to come to an accurate definition.
In the beginning of my research of the word poor I had just thought that the word meant not having anything, digging through garbage for food and living in the streets. I always thought about the children advertised on the television that had no food and were nothing but skin and bones; however in my research using the (OED) I found the word poor can mean many different things like having only few materials needing the things that provide the comforts or the nessecities needed in human life so as in doing the research I have done it has changed my mind a little and in a way has me confused about the true meaning of the two words.
As I have described poor in the last paragraph I have also thought about the meanin of the word poverty and how closely the two definitions are related they both mean to me having little or nothing, not having the nessecities needed in life they both mean having little or no wealth, they can also mean having poor condition of the body. I believe that is why the English language is so distinct from all other languages because we have two differently spelled word meaning somewhat of the same thing.
In reading The Grapes of Wrath I honesly believe most of the characters are poor and impoverished starting out when Jim Casy was introduced in the book hw he gave up on being a preacher he is doing without having preaching to people and not having a family for when he wants to go with the Joads to California. When the Joad family had lost their house because the bank wanted the land they had lost the land in which they grew up on, and when they were packing they had to get rid of their sentimental elements of their life because their was no room on the trucks as if they were becoming impoverished by losing parts of their heritage.
The grandfather may be considered to be of poor health because he can not button his own clothes, and endus up losing his life as he looses his farm. In using parts of the definitions I felt that they fit the story of the Joad family and the book The Grapes of Wrath because everyone in the story so far has been affected by what was happining and the characters of each fit well into the definitions of poor and poverty.
In conclusion of my definitions of poor and poverty is that to get the true definiton of poverty you have to think about the many other definitions and include all of them together and then decide when and how you can say that you or anyone else are actually considered to be poor or in poverty. It takes a lot of thought in thinking of what each of these words mean and many things should be taken into consideration before applying them.