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An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum.
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Poverty

The theme of poverty is principal to the poem “An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum.” Spender creates a crisp image of children in poverty through his descriptions of dire situations and malnourished students, revealing a sad, hidden segment of society that was prevalent throughout the world. He is not commenting directly on any particular nation in his poem; instead, he exposes the widespread neglect of children of all nationalities, races, and ethnicities. It is poverty that has caused the students in “An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum” to be “weighed-down,” “paper-seeming,” diseased, and “twisted.” Spender believes this poverty is created through the oppressive power of capitalism.

This poem was written during the American Civil Rights movement, and although Spender was British, the injustice that occurred in the United States was a global issue that affected the entire world, especially close English-speaking allies like Britain. Spender was...

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This section contains 1,030 words
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Buy the An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Study Guide
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