Critical Analysis

1410 words - 6 pages

Comparative Analysis
Growing up you expect a lot of things. You expect your family to always support you, you expect to have a lot of friends, you expect to get married, you may expect to go to college, or expect a well paying job that you love. These things are not always guaranteed though. The media fills our heads with these high expectations for perfect glamorous lifestyles the will never actually be a reality for most of us. Terrance Hayes’ poem “New York Poem” and George Saunders’ short story “The Simplica-Girl Diaries” are two modern pieces of literature that depict how reality does not always meet our expectations. Both take place from the perspective of being on the outside looking into the glamorous lifestyles they expected to be living. The narrators feel as though the people around them are all the same, boring copy of one other. Who lack individualization and value the most ignorant materialist objects. The authors of both expose the sad truth behind these perfect lifestyles we all strive for. Nothing is all good or all bad; there is a price you pay to have this certain lifestyle. Morals, values, and beliefs you are forced to abandon. You have to decide whether these are things you are willing to give up, like in “Simplica-Girls”, or if that lifestyle is one that you rather admire from the outside, like in “New York Poem”.
In today’s society, reality television shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the Real Housewives expose us to the wealthy and glamorous lifestyles. I don’t know about you but after seeing their lives my new life goal was marrying rich. From the outside this lifestyle appears to be perfect; never having to worry about money, people falling in love with you, getting paid to film your life. It is TV shows like these that are creating this ideal lifestyle in our minds. We strive for their lives, and before we know it we are dressing like them, acting like them, and practically become a copy of them. The way Terrance Hayes explains New York City in his poem illustrates a similar effect. He recalls a “girl with a bar code tattooed on the side of [her] face, and everyone writing poems about the inside and outside the subways,” showing how everyone in New York City is just a product of the city. Lacking individualization, they are all writing poems about the subway and buying into the cliché stereotype of New York City dwellers. The idea that we can buy our way into this society places a huge value on money. We are all guilty of this same phenomenon. We see what clothes celebrities or the “popular kids” are wearing and we buy into it subconsciously thinking this will somehow give us the same glamorous lifestyle of the people we look up to. In Simplica Girls George Saunders creates a perfect example of this when his main character blows all of his lottery money on SG’s and a perfectly manicured lawn to match his rich neighbors. These two authors manage to perfectly describe how average people feel in...

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