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Social Life Summary
Tony Hoagland

Everything you need to understand or teach Social Life by Tony Hoagland.

  • Social Life Summary & Study Guide

Social Life Summary

Introduction

Tony Hoagland's poetry focuses primarily on contemporary issues in middle and upper class America, especially in middle class suburbia. His personal experience in this environment sometimes shows up in poems as straightforward autobiography and other times manifests itself in a generic "you" or "they" address, suggesting a shared experience within an entire generation. From politics and adultery to religion and sex, Hoagland's themes often resound of daytime talk shows and evening news, but the poems are also lined with an undercurrent of self-reflection and disillusionment, anger and hope. "Social Life," which first appeared in the spring 1999 issue of Ploughshares, aptly expresses the poet's take on contemporary society and behavior —here, in the form of party goers—but also offers an unusual shift in setting for his work. Typically content to deal with the material, plastic world of things and the people who use them, Hoagland searches for something different...

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