Living With Strangers

Topics: Culture, Short story, The New Yorker Pages: 3 (917 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Living with strangers - essay analysis

How people behave around eachother, and how they act and speak in manner of specific norms and unwritten rules, that is culture. What in one culture may be quite normal and reputable, such as kissing in the street, can in another culture seem provocative and offensive. Those are the cultural conflicts that can appear when you move from fx the countryside to the city. This subject of conflicts and cultural diffenrences are what Siri Hustwedt has experienced and inspired her to write the essay ‘Living with strangers’. Siri Hustwedt grew up in Minnesota, where giving hand was one of the norms in the city, and it would be directly rude if you’re not saying hi to everyone. When she then moves to New York, she gets the feeling of ‘living with strangers’. She moves into an apartment alone, but still she feels close to her neighboors. We see that when she describes how she sees and hears, things that you would only normally experience when living with someone: ‘’Lying in my bed at night, I sometimes watched the two young men who lived across the air shaft as they lounged in the light of their window dressed only in their underwear.’’1 Also she overhears fights from the couple living under her and those are things that you connect with a private life, but that isn’t so. From that comes the head title, ‘living with strangers’. She feels like shes living with them, because they are in someway sharing moments that should remain private, but still they are strangers to her. Delkonklusion 1 It is clearly that the tone of the writer in the essay is negative in connection with the new culture she is meeting in New York. She is used to having friendly contact with everyone she meets on the street, but in New York, the only contact she is getting on the street is physical pushes as a result of all the hustle and bustle that takes place in the big city. This leads Siri Hustwedt to what she calls the law of survival: ‘’Pretend it...
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