Preaching Connection: Poverty

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Reading for Preaching

A Married Man

John Strickland, a barrister who runs as a labour party candidate argues with a conservative banker that a coal miner ought to earn as much as he, namely, the banker. The banker replies that no law prevents a coal miner becoming a merchant banker. No, says Strickland, but then you wouldn’t give him a job....

The Fortunate Pilgrim

“Charity is salt in the wound. The state gives charity with the bitter hatred of a victim to his blackmailer. The receiver of free money is subjected to harassment, insult, and profound humiliation. Newspapers are enlisted to heap scorn on the arrogant bastards who chose to beg instead of starve or let their children starve....

My Secret History

“You’d know you were in the Third World even if you were blindfolded . . . . Poverty always has a bad smell . . . . dirt and vegetation, cowsh*t, rotting fruit, woodsmoke, and diesel fumes.”

Continental Drift

Continental Drift is one of the really powerful expressions of working class despair and resentment in twentieth century literature. The genius of it can be only suggested in the following sentences. Bob DuBois is a frustrated 30-year-old resident of New Hampshire. First he compares himself (stuck in a job repairing oil burners) with a friend...