Living With Strangers In the essay living With strangers, written by Sir Hustled in 2002, she speaks of her experience of moving from the small town in Minnesota to the big New York City. All cultures and societies have unspoken rules and etiquette that an outsider simply will not understand. It’s this observation that has inspired author Sir Hushed to write her essay. Living With Strangers does not follow a chronological style, it’s switches between different events of the authors life. The essay is written in a first- arson’s point of view.
It is narrated by the Sir Hustled herself. I think that the essay is written to people who do not knows how it is like to live in a big city like New York. Sire Hustled introduce the reader to here’s former life in her hometown. She tells that the worst sin would be not saying “HI” to a passerby. After this she describes how different New York City was from her homestead. It is here she includes what she refers to as the law of New Yorkers. Whenever something odd happens in the public space, you simply pretend it isn’t happening.
In the essay she presents several examples of strange people doping strange things – and every single one who is spectator, simply minding their own business. But Sir is a little positive about the big city. She end the essay by pointing out some of these positive things about the big city: “sometimes a brief exchange with an unknown person marks you forever, not because it is profound but because it is uncommonly vivid”. She recounts an encounter she had with a man who asked her out. While living the life in a small, rural place may not seem as exciting and filled with experiences as life in a larger one does, but it does have it perks.
If you compare the big city with the smaller ones, the community and familiarity is much greater in smaller cities, as the one Sir comes from. Some will hate the small town charm with passion and some will love it, but in a community, as Sir describes it, where everyone knows everyone, the feeling should be better, than living with strangers. The reason why the essay is called “Living With Strangers” is because of the following statement: “We are becoming increasingly isolated while being surrounded by more ND more people”, she describes this through an anecdote from her first apartment in New York.
Sir lives alone in the apartment, but still, she describes her neighbors as a kind of roommates, this is because she was the “witness”, to some special act, that normally should remain private. This could for example be when she watch someone walking around wearing only underwear: “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”. She also hear private heated argument from downstairs.
Even though she do not know these people, but still they are so close to her and they share so many private moments. But as she describes, are they nothing else but “tallow New Yorkers”. This is the reason why I Hustled called the essay Living With Strangers. You can also see that she lives with strangers while she only introduced about three persons in the whole essay, her husband’s, a friend of Hustled and finally Hustler’s own. So despite the fact that she lives in a big city, surrounded by millions of people, she refers to only three people.
She do not know them, and they do not know her. This can be seen in the following quote of here’s: “he solitary misery that comes from being the object of unwanted attention among strangers who collectively participate in a game of erasure”. It was a hard twist on her life to move to NY. Before she chatted with everyone, now she is Just one of many strangers in a big city. I have heard that the thing with not talking to strangers is pretty pronounced among us Danes. And I can definitely relate to what Sir is saying. Despite the fact that New York is about 12 times the size of
Kёbeneath, I still feel that people around me have the exactly same attitude towards strangers. An example of how we are towards strangers here in Denmark could be the public transport. If we step into a kind of public transport in Denmark whether it is a train or bus, the number one rule would always be, if there are any empty seats, you do NOT sit next to anybody. If you must sit next to a stranger, you definitely do not speak with them, if you do it you step into their private space and be considered very rude. I can’t remember I ever broke the rule myself!