Poverty in Literature

Poverty in Literature Photo Credit: Phillies1fan777, via Wikimedia Commons.


You have already formed opinions and views about poverty through your life experiences. Based on those experiences, answer the questions on this student sheet.

What kind of social distinctions can you think of?



Do you think that the community in which you live has different social classes? What would they



How would you define poverty?



What do you think are some causes of poverty?



If you think about the history of our society, how might being poor 100 years ago compare to being
poor today?



What are your own views on social class and poverty?

Now read the short story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, and write below about how this
story may influence your opinions and definitions of poverty. Be prepared to discuss the
story, what you have learned about poverty, and how your opinions and definitions may
have changed.

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