932 Words Apr 5th, 2016 4 Pages
Living with strangers
What exactly is a big city and what correlation to the term ‘’urban living’’? A dictionary defines it as ‘’ The big city is used to refer to a large city which seems attractive to someone because they think there are many exciting things to do there.’’ So what relation does it have to urban living? Well, in the essay Living with strangers, written by Siri Hustvedt, we get some insight into the life of a person living in a larger city. In this essay, we get to know how everyone is a stranger and in New York City, there rules a special unwritten law, which is the law of PRETENDING IT ISN’T HAPPENING.
An aspect of living with some complete strangers that Hustvedt is completely fascinated by, is the aforementioned ‘’law’’
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Feeling alone in a crowded place is an ironic notion, but it is a feeling that everyone living in a larger city has experienced at some point and therefore the reader has an opportunity to relate to Hustvedt. The opportunity to relate to Hustvedt creates some kind of sense of ethos, which helps the author catch her audience throughout her essay.
Siri Hustvedt uses the second part of the essay to show her own theories about the certain urban laws that she had already introduced. Moreover, she does it by telling a couple of personal anecdotes, that all proves the same point: All cities have their weird people who does not want to conform the customs and expectations of this society. Nevertheless, these weirdos will never get any attention from the onlookers because the onlookers are all reciting to themselves “pretend it isn’t happening, pretend it isn’t happening, pretend it isn’t happening…” and this seems familiar to the reader. Often people will not interfere in something that is happening right beside them and this subject is what Hustvedt discusses in the final part of the essay.
To this, point Siri Hustvedt has been very critical of the urban living style and this urban law about not getting involved, but now she actually acknowledges its advantages, but it can have a dangerous outcome. One of her husband’s anecdotes proves this. This anecdote is about a man being threatened on his life just because he

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