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English Essay - My Little Bit of Country

In: English and Literature

Submitted By TrippyFred
Words 996
Pages 4
My Little Bit of Country

In the first clause, I will introduce the story “My Little Bit of Country”. The Authors name is Susan Cheever, she was an American writer who was born in 1943, who wrote the essay. She is the daughter of the famous novelist and short story writer John Cheever. The essay is from the selection called “Central Park”, which was released in 2012. The writer has written as a first person narrator through out the text.
We met our main character Susan Cheever when she was very young. Her father has just returned home from the WW2. We are told by Susan that her family’s almost commonplace visits to Central Park Zoo and Central Park. Susan’s father started writing and because of the big success he had and the fact that they as parents wanted one more child, the family moved to the one of the suburbs of New York City. Susan was not very enamored of it, she loved to be in the enormous city, to skate on the ice rink and to visit the yak in Central Park Zoo. After they had moved, she eventually moved back the New York City and became an adult who raised her own kids, in the way that she wanted to be raised.
In this analysis, we will focus on the writer’s use of contrast. We will also analyze the central- themes, which are explored in the text, and we will in the end put some comments on the title of the essay.
In this paragraph, we will comment on the title. “My Little Bit of Country” was the title of the essay. The title was inspired by Andy Warhol, who Susan heard saying, that it was better to live in the city than in the country. On page 3, line 141-144, Susan wrote: “It was better to live in the city than the country because in the city he could find a bit of country, but in the country there was no little bit of city”. Susan strongly agree with Andy Warhol and she considered Central Park as her little bit of country, Central Park was where she found and treasured her outdoor life.
Another theme in the essay was heritage. Susan grew up in the big city and she felt comfortable in the city, while she found the country life a little frightening. On page four, line 287-291, she wrote: “I am often frightened. The nights are impossibly dark, and the animal noises from the deep woods, where coyotes chase rabbits and owls pick off their prey, terrify me”. Susan preferred the city, while her parents preferred the suburbia.

In this clause, we will be looking upon the writer’s use of contrast in the story. Our main contrast in the essay was the difference between the sad suburbs in the country and the feeling of the “high life” in New York City. On the second page, Susan explained what and why she loved the life in the big city and asked questions about why anyone would pick the suburbia life over the good life in the city. As an example on the second page, line 110-115, she wrote: “Why would I want to swim in someone’s muddy pond crawling with leeches when I could perch myself on a marble basin and cool myself with splashing clear water, topping it off with a lemonade from the cart on fifth”. The comparison can easily be seen here, the country-like options versus the classy city options. A lot of people might prefer having a playground where the kids, safely, could run around, and get their knees dirty. Nonetheless, Susan Cheever preferred Central Park and what it had to offer. On page three, line 166-172, Susan wrote: “My son and daughter clambered over bronzes of bears and Alice in Wonderland in the winter and splashed in fanciful playground fountains in the summer, while their country friends played on mail-order swing sets and in plastic kiddy pools”. It was not difficult to figure out, that she was being a little condescending towards the suburbia lifestyle. On page three, line 177-180, she also wrote: “Suburban children had fancy art classes; my children had the Metropolitan Museum of Art”. Here she was being a little condescending by calling their art classes “fancy” and then comparing them to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In the paragraph, we will look upon the central-themes that are explored in the text. The most striking theme in the essay was the bond between society and nature, which was emphasized by Susan’s continuous captivation of Central Park. As an example on page two, line 115-120, she wrote: “Why would I want to scrape around the rough, dangerous ice of a country lake when I could glide around the smooth ice at the Wollman Rink and pause for a hot chocolate when my toes and fingers got too cold”. Here Susan Cheever uses several negative adjectives to describe the country life, adjectives as “rough” and “dangerous” while she uses positive adjectives to describe the city life, adjectives as more “smooth”.
In the last paragraph, we could come to a conclusion on the essay by Susan Cheever. After analyzing the essay, we could conclude, that Susan definitely thought that the city lifestyle was superior to the suburbia lifestyle. Her way of seeing the city lifestyle was more sophisticated, compared to the suburbia lifestyle. Susan Cheever also uses some sarcasm, when she talked about the life in the suburbs. There was both pros and cons about living in the big city, in the end it all comes down to what the individual human being would prefer. Susan Cheever preferred the city life and everything it offers. The soothing sound of cars and people on the street and the light from the lampposts, it was at least what Susan likes and she was probably not alone.

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