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About York Life

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Second, her use of contrast in the start of the essay gives an indication of her immediate attitude towards urban living. "I was jostled, bumped, and elbowed as I negotiated the crowds. On the subway, 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." (ll.14-16) She paints the picture of living in New York as a place with no air to breathe and no one to talk to. It is she against them.

Her attitude towards urban living is likewise distinctly expressed through attitude words. Words such as "ghosts" (l. 50), "wandering phantoms" (l. 50), "silent hostility" (l. 41), and "unwritten code of survival in this town" (l. 18) are all marked with a hostile tone. Furthermore, the use of generalization appears when she makes her personal views known as general opinions, for example: "Behind the mask of oblivion lies alertness" (ll. 98-99) How is she in a position to know what lies behind the mask of every New Yorker? Especially when she is country-bred and has not grown up with Fifth Avenue as a daily part of her life.

Nevertheless, she proclaims herself as being an urbanite: "For us urbanites, both for the born and bred and for converts like me, there is a delight that comes from thinking on our feet, from sizing up situations and making the decision to act or not to act." (ll. 105-107) This quote infers that she takes pride in calling herself a New Yorker despite the lack of obligingness. Perhaps, the lack of social interaction could be a favorable solution to a stressful way of living in a big city, which she realizes after having lived there for 24 years.

This being said she still enjoys the humdrum everyday life getting interrupted by a momentary exchange with a stranger. The contradicting signals that are expressed in the last part of the essay question her actual attitude to urban living. Maybe, the urban living has revised her view of social interacting: The previously mentioned "hi!" could come across as trivial and shallow even for her?

It seems as though she has gone through a personal development since the move to New York. At first she seemed to have a hard time dealing with the proclaimed hostility, which she underwent during the start of her urban life. On the other hand, she expresses pleasure



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