Thisis a story about the effects of poverty in a community as discussedby parks after going on a research at catacumba in favela with hiscolleague Mr. Gallo (Park 96). Parks main research however was toresearch on a father who lives in a poverty stricken environment, toknow about his income, political views, friends, religion, ideas andfrustrations but he ends up concentrating more on a 12 year old boy(Park 96) who seems to be carrying on the burden of his entirefamily. At first as you read through the story, you might end upthinking that the 12 year old boy whose name is flavio is the breadwinner of the family. The young boy does all the household choreswhereas, there are other children in the house. But being thefirstborn in that home he has no option but to perform these dutiesdiligently since he’s afraid that failure to do this, he will endup being scolded as we note where he tells his sibling to check onthe beans and make sure that they don’t get burned since hisparents will come and scold him.
Flavio’sfamily is in such a poor and desperate situation because of povertysuch that he is forced to work even when he is not feeling well.Therefore, being the firstborn in that family he is forced bycircumstances to perform all the duties of a parent when his parentsare not around. This shows that poverty discriminates even the sick.Flavio’s neighborhood does not help his situation in any wayeither. He carries water up a slope which is quite tiresome for a boyhis age. The water he gets is not enough as we see him using it toclean the rice, then the baby and his other siblings. The water isthen sprinkled on the floor of course bearing in mind that it is notclean by the time it reaches that point therefore creating a healthhazard for that family (Park 96). As he goes back to his apartment,he realizes the kind of comfort he lives in since he sees that even acorner of his house is big compared to that of flavios family house(Park 98).As park and his colleague move around the neighborhood thefollowing day, they observe that there is stench all over the placeof rotting things mixed with smoke. Park describes how someone can bewrithing in poverty, worry, overwork even physical illness and stillharbor hope in his heart (Park 99).
Inresponse to William Morrison’s post, I totally agree with his viewson parks findings. First I agree with the fact that he views park assomeone with humanity. This is supported by the fact that after hegoes home after his first visit to catacumba, he thinks about thekind of house flavio’s family live in and feels pity on them. Parkalso decides to take flavio to see a doctor the following day so thathe can be checked on his illness. It is also true that the poorpeople view the outsiders as people with bad intentions and that iswhy they react negatively when park tries to capture a funeralprocession with his camera. However, they don’t mind the stranger’spresence in their community as long as they are not interruptingtheir routine life or trying to involve the outsiders of what theyare going through. No matter how much love you give the poor peopleor how much you offer yourself to them, it will never be enough. Theirony of this story however is the part where the sculpture ofChrist’s back is facing catacumba slopes, as if meaning they havebeen forsaken (Park 101).
GordonParks. Descritpive Flavio’ Home.