Hillbilly Elegy - Prologue-Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

J.D. Vance
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Summary

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance is a memoir of the author’s life and those of his family members. He begins the Prologue by stating that the existence of this memoir is somewhat absurd. As a 31-year-old lawyer, he has not accomplished anything particularly remarkable in his life. Instead, Vance claims that his ordinary accomplishments are noteworthy because very few members of his community, whom Vance calls “hillbillies,” enjoy similar success. Hillbilly refers to members of Scots-Irish families living in Appalachia and Rust Belt cities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. These communities are deeply troubled. The majority of them are impoverished and have no significant hope for the future. Beyond economic distress, hillbilly society faces high rates of drug addiction, social isolation, and a breakdown of family structures. While outsiders attempting to address these problems generally focus on economic solutions, Vance believes a pessimistic...

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This section contains 1,646 words
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Buy the Hillbilly Elegy Study Guide
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