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City of Joy Written by Dominique Lapierre

Essay by   •  October 4, 2017  •  Book/Movie Report  •  512 Words (3 Pages)  •  680 Views

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City of Joy was written by Dominique Lapierre, was published in France in the year 1985, and has 544 pages. This book tells the story of Stephen Kovalski, a Polish Catholic priest who lived among the poor in the slums of Anand Nagar, which is translated to City of Joy in English. He chose to live in Calcutta to experience what it was like to live with the poor. He lived with the poor of India and felt as they felt, whether good or bad. The country of India is very diverse with all types of people live together. However, everyone there lives together even though they all follow different religions. Even though he was a Catholic priest, he did not see a any conflicts between the different religions. He said that he got his strength from his religions and their respective gods, either Christianity or Hinduism. The people of Calcutta respected Lapierre for going down to their level so he could make their life better. This book also tells about a farmer, Hasari Pal who had come from a local village to Calcutta due to droughts. He came to the city with his whole family so he could make enough money to start farming and to live in the village with his family. Many people come to Calcutta with hopes to earn money and go back to his/her village to continue with their old life, usually it doesn't turn out that way. The farmer was unable to find any work, and he lived in the pavements. His life quality and that of his family was terrible.

The author brings the book alive, showing examples poverty, disease, vermin, and filth. However, the book show the courage and hope humanity can have. In this blob of humans, the author discovered more selflessness, happiness, and sharing than in many Western cities. He is able to show that heroes can come from all places, even one as terrible as the City of Joy. Calcutta is where good people like Mother Teresa and also of countless other heroes who do good things for others while staying completely unknown. To tell the story of this place , Lapierre put himself into the culture and became one of the locals. He slept in a filthy hovel, studied the exotic cultures that live together inside of the City of Joy, was shown love and was helped by Mother Teresa and her helpers, and even became friends with the godfather of the local Mafia. Lapierre witnessed births, marriages, funerals, and festivals of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians, all which lived together in the City of Joy.

I very much enjoyed



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