Suicide and New York City

Good Essays
Although the development of the manufacturing industry is convenient in everyday life, it also takes people 's lives away from nature around us. This problem has been discussed in the poem “Summer Solstice, New York City,” by Sharon Olds and “Death of a Window Washer,” by X.J. Kennedy. “Summer Solstice, New York City” is about an attempted suicide incident. “Death of a Window Washer” describes a scene of a window washer who was killed by accident. With different descriptions and details regarding the denouement of the main characters and the reactions of the other people, the two poets portrayed the dark and light side of human nature.
“Summer Solstice, New York City” uses juxtaposition to describe details while “Death of a Window Washer” did not. In “Summer Solstice, New York City,” the poet uses words relating to manufactured elements and words relating to natural elements side by side, in order to bring hope to the audience. For example, Olds uses some harsh adjectives to describe the edge of the top of the building where the man was going to commit suicide: “to the edge, put one leg over the complex green tin cornice" (27). This line contains two unnatural elements: “tin,” and “cornice,” which connote the man-made city and shows the cold elements of the city. However, Olds uses natural elements to describe the net: “stretched as the sheet is prepared to receive a birth" (27). In this line, Olds uses the word “birth,” to contrast the birth of the children to the man’s life by comparing the end of the man 's life to a new "life" in the city. Because of the contrast between the words, the gentleness and hope of the man-made city emphasizes the harsh reality of the man 's extreme decision to end his life. On the contrary, “Death of a Window Washer” does not use juxtaposition and describes the detail more harshly. The poet X.J. Kennedy shows the coldness of the city. Kennedy describes the scene inside the building when the window washer is falling: “Machine



Cited: Sharon Olds " Summer Solstice, New York City” Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Reader and Writers . Eds. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 5 edition. X.J. Kennedy " Death of a Window Washer” Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Reader and Writers . Eds. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 5 edition.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    crowded places, you would expect the suicide rates to be higher in New York City as opposed to other cities in the world. New York City has an astounding rate of 8% suicide rate per 100,000 people. Then there is Las Vegas with a surprising 34.5% suicide rate. Shouldn’t New York City, one of the most stressful cities to live in have a higher suicide rate? But why doesn’t it, you may ask? Emile Durkheim, a Functionalist has expressed his thoughts within his book, Suicide. He refers to social integration…

    • 519 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    New York City

    • 2055 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Like many large cities, New York is divided and subdivided by its residents into various districts and quarters. The city's five boroughs are actually different counties -- each one with independent local governments and cultures. Each borough has individual neighborhoods -- some of only a few blocks in size -- that have personalities lauded in music and movies. Where you live, work and play in New York says something to New Yorkers about who you are. The five boroughs are: Brooklyn Queens The Bronx…

    • 2055 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    New York City Adventure

    • 667 Words
    • 20 Pages

    My favorite trip I've ever been on was definitely my first trip to New York City. Through the many stores and massive crowds of people I learned some important life lessons, other than how much I enjoy elbow room. The "Big Apple" was more that just a city to me, it was an experience, in fact, the whole trip was an experience! Whether it was the airplane ride to Manhattan, the city itself, or the Yankee game we went too, I had an amazing time. I never will forget that early morning where drove up…

    • 667 Words
    • 20 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    New York City has an approximate of over 7.5 million people living there (cleaningservicenewyorkcity.com). An estimate of thirty-three percent of the people who live in New York City is at or below the line of poverty (cleaningservicenewyorkcity.com). As in February, 2017, about 16,188 homeless families with 20,100 homeless children had slept in shelters in New York City (coalitionforthehomeless.org). Additionally, to the homeless families and children, there will be a following research based on…

    • 1193 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    New York City Diversity

    • 356 Words
    • 2 Pages

    in New York city and me personally that means that they have several different opinions. Many people approve, accept and understand different practices and many do not. Which can cause them to be biased, selfish because they are not willing to accept other people who in their eye have abnormal behaviors. Being exposed to so many different cultures, traditions are such great gift in my opinion. Because instead of traveling and some people can't afford that you can have it all in New York City. Diversity…

    • 356 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    America. It was first settled in 1625, known as New Amsterdam by the Dutch. It is known as the city that never sleeps. New York City is probably one of the most interesting cities in the world. It has something to offer to everybody. From the moment you land in New York City there is a realization that you have landed in a different world. New York City is home to virtually every nationality on earth. With each culture represented in New York City by individuals alone the many opportunities to visit…

    • 623 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    New York City Trip

    • 310 Words
    • 2 Pages

    the East Coast? I visited Boston, New york, New Jersey, and Time Square. Last fall I went to New jersey but on the way there we passed through New York City. As I arrived it didn't look anything like Indianapolis, Indiana. There were a lot of huge building and a lot of people too. New York City is a very cool place to go. The idea of this essay would be to inform you to go to New York City. As my brothers, sisters, mom, step dad, and I walked in New York City and Time Square, it was very exciting…

    • 310 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    How vast is the New York City’s mass transit system? XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Instructor: XXXXXXXXX Course: XXXXXXXXXX Date: XXXXXXXX New York City, one of the world’s most vibrant cities, has one of the biggest public transportation systems of North America. Everyday hundreds of thousands people enter this city as workers or as tourists. New York City has excellent connectivity to all of its neighboring states: New Jersey, Connecticut, and…

    • 2111 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    It seems common to write about New York City given the fact that it prevails as one of the most populous cities in the U.S. Others chose to write referring to how it holds endless opportunities for anyone who tries, however, that does not explain the real foundation of New York. New York remains an influential place, nevertheless, the features that acclaim it as an impactful city are the traits commonly disregarded. Moving to a different country, to a small town, was frightening in itself. The familiarity…

    • 317 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    New York City Tenements

    • 478 Words
    • 2 Pages

    before, tenements were often very crowded due to the large wave of immigrants coming from Europe. These immigrants were stuffed into buildings that were inadequately made. In 1914, the streets below fourteenth street, which was one eighty-second of New York State’s total land area, had one sixth of the city's population (Urban Castles). Showing how in a relatively small piece of land, many people lived there. Most of the people who lived there lived in tenements. There were 22,000 slum tenements that…

    • 478 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays