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“In The Suburbs”, By Louis Simpson Research Paper

757 words - 3 pages

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Alex RosatiMrs. LeblondEnglish 10H17 March, 2014Authors often receive laud for expressing their ideas in complex and intricate ways, but sometimes less is more. "In the Suburbs", a poem by Louis Simpson, portrays one mans disappointment in the regression of the American dream through tone and analogy. The brevity of the six line poem emphasizes the strength of the theme by taking a clear and concise standpoint with little elaboration. This allows for the central idea to be unmistakable and powerful. Ultimately, the purpose of this poem is to make a bold statement about the American middle class, which is effectively done in an artful and thought provoking way.Born in 1923, Louis Simpson spent his childhood in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Here, Louis lived as a member of the upper middle class with his mother, Rosalind Marantz Simpson, and father, Aston Simpson. In 1932, Louis began his education at the preparatory school, Munro College, where he first began to write poetry and other works ("Author Bio" 201). He would later move to America to study literature at the University of Columbia until 1943 when he left to join the United States Army. He eventually returned to earn his bachelor of science degree, his master's degree in english and his doctorate degree in comparative literature. Louis would go on to teach literature, first at the University of California at Berkley, and then at Sony Brook University in New York ("Author Bio" 201).Louis first arrived in the United States during the midst of post war economic expansion. Soldiers began to come home in droves, and suburban life began to flourish with this influx of people. Around this time, William J. Levitt would create the model for suburban developments across America. Unfortunately, built for cost and time efficiency, these new developments created an image of blandness and conformity towards suburban living ("Historical context" 204). With the election of J.F.K. and the actions of Martin Luther King J.R., the U.S. became entrenched in a social war of civil rights as well. Ultimately, Louis Simpson's life in America can be defined by momentous social change which had a clear impact on his literary voice.The entire poem, "In the Suburbs," is an analogy for...

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