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Ordinary Words Essay

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Semansky's essays and reviews appear regularly in journals and newspapers. In this essay, Semansky considers the representation of marriage in Stone's poem.

Stone's poem, published in the 1990s, references her own marriage from the 1950s. American attitudes towards marriage in these two decades differ dramatically. In the 1950s, many Americans believed marriage was an essential component of the American dream. By the 1990s, however, marriage was simply one more option in an increasingly growing menu of life choices for Americans.

Stone not only calls readers' attention to her "ordinary marriage" but she also asserts that it was a way that her "middle-class beauty, test[ed] itself." By linking class with marriage, Stone brings to mind the image of the 1950s as an era of cookiecutter houses, nine to five jobs, and picture-perfect families: Ozzie and Harriet writ large. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, America was in...

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This section contains 1,316 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ordinary Words Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Ordinary Words from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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