Social Life Essay

Tony Hoagland
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Hill is the author of a poetry collection, has published widely in literary journals, and is an editor for a university publications department. In the following essay, Hill examines Hoagland's portrayal of American middle-class emptiness and the spirituality of nature—viewed as polar opposites in this poem.

While there may not be a written manual on how to act at a typical contemporary party in suburban America, most party guests seem to have an innate sense of expectations and taboos. Just like the given laws and mores of a society, the common social gathering has its own set of do's and don'ts, such as do glide smoothly from group to group; don't sit in a corner contemplating the artwork on the walls. Breaking the rules can brand one a social outcast or, even worse, unsophisticated. In Hoagland's "Social Life," the speaker decides to take a chance with the...

(read more from the Critical Essay #1 section)

This section contains 1,424 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Social Life Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Social Life from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.