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In the Suburbs Critical Essay

This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of In the Suburbs.
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Critical Overview

Like many of the poems in At the End of the Open Road, "In the Suburbs" explores the contradictions between America's promise and its reality. Reviewing the collection for Southern Review, Ronald Moran writes that although he does not believe that Simpson's longer poems succeed, he enjoys his shorter ones. "In the Suburbs" works because it is a "statement poem" that relies on "a quiet power generated through restrained diction, loose rhythms, and an imaginative interplay between subject and attitude." Commenting on the sadness of the poem, poet and critic James Dickey says that "In the Suburbs" underscores the impoverished inner life of the American individual in the mid-twentieth century, living in a landscape of used-car lots and suburbs. "Nothing can be done," Dickey writes. "The individual has only what he has, only what history has allowed him to be born to." While praising Simpson's poetry in general...

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This section contains 216 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our In the Suburbs Study Guide
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In the Suburbs from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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