This essay will analyze and comment on Siri Hustvedt’s essay Living With Strangers from 2002. In her essay she juxtaposes the way of addressing people in her native town Minnesota and in New York City which she moved to in 1978.
In Minnesota it is a custom to greet everyone whether you know the person or not and breaking this law by passing someone in silence would be snobbish.
This tradition contrasts with the pretend-it-isn’t-happening law in New York where people pretend to appear deaf, dumb and blind or simply ignore people with strange behavior.
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Siri Hustvedt starts her essay by making a reference to her childhood in Minnesota, because her childhood experiences will form a basis for her topic, living with strangers.
Therefore, when she appeals to her audience in the beginning of her essay she uses the rhetorical device ethos because she wants to appear more trustworthy.
She shows her knowledge about the topic when she writes about her personal experiences such as how she was raised with the norm to greet everyone you met on the road since it could have consequences such as accusations of snobbery.
This knowledge gives her a possibility of juxtaposing her former life and traditions with her new life and new life style in New York City.