Completely Different, Yet the Same

August 15, 2011
By Stefne SILVER, Lonepine, Montana
Stefne SILVER, Lonepine, Montana
5 articles 3 photos 1 comment

The life of a prestigious millionaire on his family estate is a stark contrast to the life lead by a homeless man found in a dark, foreboding alley. Although a millionaire and a homeless person are both human beings with emotions, and worries, they differ completely in their daily concerns, their way of life, and how they are viewed by others.
Upon waking up in the morning, the millionaire and the homeless individual both have concerns that must be addressed. While a millionaire may unconcernedly wonder when his breakfast will be brought to his room, the bum sets out to find a meager bite that can serve as his breakfast. The wealthy man has worries centered around his materialistic life or financial concerns such as whether he can maintain his wealth. The homeless man has more dire and, arguably, primitive needs, and, although he has financial worries too, they are focused more so on how to get by with just a bare minimum.
The most obvious difference between a homeless man and millionaire is their opposite lifestyles; this can be apparent with just a simple glance at their outward appearance. . It’s easy to identify either one in public as the millionaire’s fancy tailored suit stands out on the street just as much as the bum’s rags blend in with the alley way. A rich man, whether he has inherited wealth or gained wealth, appears to live a comfortable life. In contrast, a homeless individual struggles to stay alive and keep warm, whether his poverty is by choice, due to medical issues, or brought on by poor decisions.
Perhaps one of the most interesting ways that a millionaire and a homeless man differ is the way in which they are viewed by others in society. A millionaire is looked up to by many; he’s both well–respected and well-known. Too much exposure and attention can leave the millionaire cautious and constantly keeping aware of his public image. A bum is usually looked down upon by most people in society, but he also doesn’t have to live up to the standards of others. This is due to the fact that he is generally considered a ‘nobody’ that’s ignored by the public eye.
Overall, a millionaire and a homeless man may hold in common that they are both simply two human beings living their lives in society, but the similarities between the two are few. While a millionaire is concerned with upholding his public image and sometimes only gaining more wealth, the poor vagrant worries how he’ll obtain his next meal and where he’ll stay for the night. The two individuals have such completely different lifestyles that it’s almost as if they live in two separate worlds. There is also great contrast in the way that these two are viewed in society. A millionaire is admired and respected by a vast majority. Contrarily, a homeless man is treated with disdain and often ridiculed.

The author's comments:
This is a contrast essay that I wrote for a writing class I took. While I focused this essay on how these two individuals hold such different lives, I would love to write a second essay on this topic. In the second essay, I would focus on how these two individuals, despite their drastically different lifestyles, are really the same inside. They both have the same yearning for love and sense of belonging that anyone else does. I think that an essay exploring the humanity in both people would be just as fascinating, if not more so, than the one I've written about their opposite appearances and lifestyles.

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