Living with Strangers

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Living with Strangers - Siri Hustvedt
In all cities and cultures around the world are there unwritten rules, who people outside this place will not understand. That was what has inspired Siri Hustvedt about New York City. She moved from her little hometown Minnesota to New York, which was a big difference from the life she used to live. Especially the unwritten law: "PRETEND IT ISN'T HAPPENING-Law" fascinates her the most. That is how many in New York are thinking, even though most of them actually catch what are happening around them. It is impressing how they can ignore what people do, how they look like or what they say right beside them, or choose not to react on it, when people to things to bother unconscious. Is it something they do on purpose or is it just their nature to be like that? It is also fantastic how small details, like a smile or a trivial compliment, can change a person's day completely. This is what Siri Hustvedt describes in her essay Living with Strangers, where she will tell about some stories she had experienced while living in New York.

The essay Siri Hustvedt chooses to write is a subjective collection of her thoughts. She has divided into three major parts, and the first one is about her life. She tells the reader her personal back story, which gives an idea of who she is and what she feels about New York and the differences she experiences. The second part is about her theory about the "pretend-it-isn't-happening-law". To prove her point about the law, she tells 3 different stories she had experienced since she moved to New York. What these 3 stories have in common is that there are people present on the place the story takes place, and none of them react on the unacceptable or bizarre thing they are witnesses to. They just tell themselves: "pretend it isn't happening…" In the last part of her essay she discusses. She seemed critical of the urban law, but over time she acknowledges the advantages. She learned that getting...
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