Living with Strangers by Siri Hustvedt

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Living with strangers by Siri Hustvedt

Have you ever tried to get a new family member or tried to change school? Every changing gives its own impression on the person itself but anyhow, changing and the strange is something everybody will meet on their way through life. All of us are grown up in different existences and by that we have some standards of social norms to follow. When you suddenly explore changing in your life a problematic question will arise and you will start to wonder what normality is and what the most courteous is to do. “Living with strangers” is an essay by Siri Hustvedt where she through the genre and her own experiences explain her attitude to “pretend it isn’t happening” situations. The essay is told by the writer herself and the genre is a personal essay which is expressed by a lot of her own experiences when she moved to New York City which was a totally opposite society than the one in Minnesota where she grew up. These examples put the readers in her place and at the same time they maybe recognize some of the situations that she illustrates. Since it is a personal essay where Siri states a problem that she has an opinion about, she forces the readers to have an opinion about the problem as well which whether could agree or disagree with hers attitude. After all her goal is probably to influence the reader so they agree with her. Siri Hustvedt states a problem about the differences between cities and which norms each city includes. Where she comes from it was normal to say hi to a complete stranger just because it was a polite thing to do. In New York City that was not the thing to do. The most usual thing to do was to “pretend it isn’t happening” (p. 6, l. 20) if you were stocked in an awkward situation where you didn’t know what to do. The problem is then whether if we should “act or not act” (p. 8, l. 107). Siri thinks that a lot of people are scared of the strange but she means that many new things will be discovered if...
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