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Daylights Historical Context

Rosanna Warren
This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Daylights.
This section contains 574 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Although "Daylights" is set in New York, presumably around the time the poem was written, there is nothing specifically related to New York in it. The liquor store robbery, the inciting incident for the speaker's meditation on daylight, could happen any place. However, the appearance and reaction of the crowd and the liquor storeowner suggest a big city and the accompanying sense of anonymity people feel in them. In 1984, when "Daylights" was published, the prison population in the United States was 454,000, more than double the population in 1970. By 1999, there were more than 1.2 million people in prisons throughout the country, plus an additional half million in local jails. During the 1980s, the Reagan administration made tougher law enforcement a national priority. In 1981, Reagan declared a National Crime Victim's Week—the first of its kind—and Nancy Reagan launched her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign. Reagan was voted into office...

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This section contains 574 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Daylights Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Daylights from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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