Living with Strangers by Siri Hustvedt

In: Novels

Submitted By MichMich
Words 1516
Pages 7
Michelle Gjørup Engelsk Essay 17. maj 2015

Living with strangers By Siri Hustvedt Living in big cities like New York City is a relatively modern phenomena, and why wouldn't it be when the big city, unlike the countryside has so much more to offer? Hundreds and thousands of possibilities can be found and realized in the big cities, its been this way from the time after the industrialization in the 1800’s with the increase of urbanization where a lot of people moved to the big cities to get a job. But with so many people in one place comes several dilemmas, like what do you do in certain situations when people around you seem not to care as much? The lack of social interaction has a huge effect on some people, one of them being Siri Hustvedt. In her essay “Living with strangers” from 2002, Siri Hustvedt discusses how she sees “the big city” and its lack of social interaction, and what affects it has on her as a former Minnesotan. In the countryside everyone knows everybody and people greet each other like its second nature. But as Siri so quotes in her essay people in New York has an unwritten rule to “pretend it isn't happening”. She further states that even though there are so many people that you on a daily basis get up close and personal with ”... I found myself in intimate contact with people I didn’t know, my body pressed so tightly against them, I could smell their hair oils, perfumes, and sweat.” It doesn't really get more personal than that, but even then people seem to know how to avoid any given situation. The only thing these people have in common is that they live in the same place, but they are in fact, strangers. But even then for Siri it makes sense to break this unwritten rule of pretending not to notice, and instead acknowledge other people. In acknowledging other people you…...

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