An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

by Stephen Spender

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How does Spender criticize the educational system in "An Elementary school classroom in a slum"?

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Spender highlights the inequalities in a democratic society. Although democracy is supposed to level the playing field and allow all to get a good education, the classroom in his poem is a slum and offers little hope to its students. Spender shows the widespread neglect of poor children, without naming their ethnicity, race, or country. Spender believed that it was a result of capitalism. The educational system turns a blind eye to the problem of lesser-fortunate children, Spender claims, and will not do anything to fix it until a spotlight (or maybe his poem) highlights the ills in the system.

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