Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town Analysis

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Throughout history, human civilizations have been built on conforming to social norms. Likewise, there have always been individuals, throughout history, who have ventured outside of those norms, many times to the dismay or even apathy of their respectively societies. E.E. Cummings’ “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” is perfect example of how individualism is viewed in a conformist society, as well as sheds light on the poet’s own views of conformity. Although conforming to social norms is how people understand the world around them, it is so import to some people that they completely disregard individuality in their societies (either through fear or apathy); however, such hindering attitudes can be prove to be inspiration for rebelling against conformity.
In the poem “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” Cummings depicts a town filled with inhabitants who live out a seemingly bleak existence, with the exception of two unidentified characters anyone and noone (Barnet, Burto, & Cain). These characters are free to dream and explore the world around them and express themselves, even though they are largely ignored by their fellow townspeople, who are also referred to as someone and everyone and
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“We talk about why ―anyone‖ is the best prounoun/name for everyman‖ because it invites every reader to insert him or herself into the poem as protagonist. After all, most of us like to think that we are optimists,” (Peterson). The scenes from “anyone lived” depict the separation that all societies have between the conformists and individuals, who are constantly clashing in ideologies. “‘Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town’” moves by the alternation of negation of life with joy in life, the someones set against anyone and noone. These contrasts involve youth and age, innocence and experience, feeling and not feeling; but the overall contrast is between harmony,”

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