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Jacob Riis Research Paper

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Around the last decade of the ninetieth century, a Danish immigrant called Jacob Riis immersed himself in the dwellings of the oppressed class in New York City. He aimed to expose the living conditions of these people, in addition to narrate their conducts and how they responded to their environment. Riis firmly judged the tenements in which these outliers lived, as the nurturers of evilness and demolishers of human life. According to Riis, the root problems that aggravated the living in the tenements were predominantly the callous landlords, the absence of sanitary environments, and distance of the outsiders to the American values. One of the primary causes of the evils from derelict tenements was because of the landlords. These, were described by Riis as inattentive men whose goal was exclusively to obtain profit out of the tenements, regardless of the dreadful conditions in which those where. As the only option the poor had was to pay a relatively high-priced small room for their families in the monopolized tenements, or else they would have to live on the streets, the landlords ignored the essential necessities of the buildings, causing the habitants to be miserable. The continuous…show more content…
The ambiance in which tenants lived, led to death or crime. Riis described that the children were “brought up in an atmosphere of actual darkness, moral and physical.” In addition to the absence of light and ventilation, the small rooms where families slept where dirty and crowded with viruses and infections. The likelihood of dying was extremely high back then. The death rate in 1888 was 22.71 percent. Households were tear apart when family members died because of the living conditions, which usually lead to a decrease in income. For Riis, it was impossible for a society to prosper considering the living conditions and closeness to death these people
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