Joan Didion

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Joan Didion had messed up on a job and had nothing to do since. So on the cold spring of 1967, she decided to go to San Francisco, where her essay Slouching Towards Bethlehem takes place. San Francisco is a place where there are full of hippies. In her essay, she illustrates the detailed encounters with the hippies and portrays their personalities and lifestyles. Although Joan Didion describes the hippies as immature, she also feels pity for their situation at the same time.

Didion expresses that the hippies are very immature and uses different examples to back it up. She goes to Deadeye’s place and sees that there are several people living with him. She talks about how they are all lazy because, as grown-ups, they do not know how to take care of themselves nor the house. Looking around the room, Didion sees “a girl on the floor … has been sleeping for twenty-four hours…”, “the friend… who extends one arm but does not get up because he is naked”, and “couple of girls in pajamas making instant coffee” (87). It can be inferred that the house is very dirty and that these people do not clean up after themselves, showing the terrible way those people lived. Then she goes into another example about a boy named Jeff, who ran away from home because he did not like his parents for having high expectations for him, such as maintaining his grades and doing chores around the house. Jeff says that, “If I didn’t finish ironing my shirts for the week I couldn’t go out for the weekend” and “I had a C average and… I couldn’t date until I raised it” (91). These are things that he should not be complaining about because they should know how to take care of their own clothes at the very least and he is in the age when he should be putting academics above social life. This shows Didion’s attitude of how a 16-year-old boy is very immature, complaining about his daily life.

Although Didion considered them to be immature, she also pitied the hippies for living such lives. She found...
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