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Word Count: 537
Burdens of Poverty In the short story The Sky is Gray Ernest J Gaines shows the struggles inflicted by poverty in an eight-year-old boys life This poor Negro boy James lives with his mother and five other relatives while his father is away The fact that his father is gone to war his mother is a very proud woman and James not wanting to be a financial burden on his mother all take a toll in making James life tougher James father is drafted into the early part of World War 2 This leaves James mother to raise the children and support the entire family In effect the family has very little money The family doesnt own a car and barely has money to ride the bus to town At times it seems as if James is starving His clothes dont even keep him warm in the cold Times are hard for the family when James father is away James mother Octavia is a very proud woman Her pride has an effect on James life She does not accept any form of charity An old woman offers Octavia and James some food but Octavia declines the offer until James does some chores for the woman James had to work instead of getting a free meal because his mother would not let him accept charity Octavia tried to purchase some salt meat from the old woman but makes the woman cut the offered chunk of meat in half because Octavia thinks the portion of meat that the woman offers is an act of charity on the old womans behalf Taking the portion of meat that the woman offered would have saved the family some money Another example of how Octavias pride costs the family money occurs in the caf Octavia and James are walking in the cold waiting on James to go to the dentist They step into the caf to warm up Octavia feels
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