Hillbilly Elegy Quotes

J.D. Vance
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So I didn’t write this book because I’ve accomplished something extraordinary. I wrote this book because I’ve achieved something quite ordinary, which doesn’t happen to most kids who grow up like me.
-- J.D. Vance (Intro paragraph 2)

Importance: This demonstrates that Vance considers his accomplishments to be ordinary, but remarkable because few people in his community accomplish even ordinary things. It provides the justification for writing this memoir.

But this book is about something else: what goes on in the lives of real people when the industrial economy goes south. It’s about reacting to bad circumstances in the worst way possible. It’s about a culture that increasingly encourages social decay instead of counteracting it.
-- J.D. Vance (Intro paragraph 1)

Importance: This presents Vance’s general thesis, that people in his community have compounded economic trouble with a destructive culture.

People talk about hard work all the time in places like Middletown. You can walk through a...
-- J.D. Vance (chapter 4 paragraph 2)

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This section contains 1,025 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hillbilly Elegy Study Guide
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