How can poverty cause children to become extremely motivated to succeed in life?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There might be a couple of elements to point out here.  I am not sure that "poverty" itself does not cause children to become successful.  Yet, I think that the conditions in which poverty presents itself can become a force that compels individuals to never revert back to such a condition.  Poverty might provide the need for individuals to drive through such contingencies and not have such a notion define themselves.  I think of the narrative of Anne Moody in such a predicament.  Growing up in "abject poverty." Anne is determined to be better than the conditions that are around her.  In this, poverty becomes a critical element to motivate individuals to not revisit or to relive in such conditions.  The pain that poverty inflicts on individuals can compel them to do what is necessary to not have to be immersed in such a reality.  It is here where I think that poverty can be seen as a factor that drives individuals to strive for success, something that is seen as not a barrier but rather a challenge to overcome.  Poverty's pain and its sting can serve as a motivating force or as a compelling reason to move beyond its reach.