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In the Suburbs Essay

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Semansky is an instructor of English literature and composition and publishes frequently on American literature and culture. In this essay, he compares Simpson's vision of America in the 1950s to Walt Whitman's vision of it in the middle of the nineteenth century.

"In the Suburbs" is a sour little poem, full of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations. It is, like many of Simpson's poems in his collection At the End of the Open Road, a confrontation with the self as much as it is with an America who does not measure up to the writer's expectations. To see America as Simpson does, however, it is necessary to imagine it as he initially did through the eyes of Walt Whitman, whose poem "Song of the Open Road" "In the Suburbs" responds to.

Writing a hundred years before Simpson, Whitman saw America as a land of opportunity and untapped potential, which...

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This section contains 1,236 words
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Poetry for Students
In the Suburbs from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.