Why does Ellison come to New York in 1936? What do you think was his most urgent reason?
Ellison comes to New York because he desires to enjoy the summer season in the city which he considers as a getaway from all his problems in his home in the southern state of Alabama. His most urgent reason is to seek funds for the completion of his final year as music major.
How does Ellison utilize his free time?
Ellison utilizes his free time by exploring the city, making new friends along the way, and enjoying himself with the variety of social freedom that was deprived of him in Alabama.
How do his experiences help explain the appeal of New York for African-Americans during the 1930s?
His experiences help explain the appeal of New York for African-Americans by comparing his life in Alabama filled with discrimination and social inhibitions. As for many young African-Americans, living in New York is like a dream come true.
Why does the author call Harlem “the site and symbol of Afro-American progress and hope”? Does this still hold true?
Why doesn’t Ellison feel entirely “out of the South” while in New York?
Ellison doesn’t feel entirely “out of the south” while in New York because he was psychologically restrained with the way of living that he grew up to in the South. While in New York, he sometimes consciously and unconsciously limits himself with these restrictions.
Describe the humor in Ellison’s subway story. What does he learn from this incident about New York and himself?
This is a farcical humor because of the unlikely incident that seems too funny to be true. He learns that in New York the rules of etiquette are inverted and social equality took the form of a competition. As for himself, he learns that his good manners and sense of gallantry is no longer important in New York.
Why is Ellison so intrigued with buses in New York?
Ellison is so intrigued with buses in New York because when he was in the South, he used to ride only at the back of the bus, but in New York he can choose any part of the bus to ride on.
Why is it difficult to be pregnant or “have any kind of disability” in New York?
This is because in New York, pregnant women and persons with disability don’t receive any special privileges and are subject to rude comments, ridicule, and unreasonable interference.
What two enduring memories does Quindlen include in the opening paragraph? How do these details frame the rest of the essay?
One is when she and her husband were looking for a legal space to park their car on 78th street hours before her first child birth, and this made the couple believe that the delivery of the baby would always lead to a charmed life. Second is while walking down Lexington Avenue doing the first-stage breathing, a couple with their eyes popping out passes by toward them. The man said “wow, she looks like she’s ready to burst.”
These details frame the rest of the essay by focusing on how unfair the people in New York in treating the pregnant women and how she overcomes her daily struggles in the city.
Quindlen writes that “There’s no privacy in New York” and “New York has no pity.” How does she demonstrate this? Do you agree with her general assessment?
She demonstrates this by describing the people in New York as tactless and inconsiderate to persons with disability. She gives strong emphasis on how New Yorkers mistreat her. I agree with her general assessment.
How do New York cabdrivers react to pregnant passengers?
New York cabdrivers avoid pregnant passengers because of the incident wherein a pregnant woman gave birth at the backseat of the cab. When a pregnant woman insists on riding the cab, the driver refuses her.
What metaphor does the author use to describe the helpful women on the platform? How does this scene illustrate the general attitude towards privacy amongst New Yorkers?
Phalanx is the metaphor that the author uses to describe the helpful women on the platform. In this scene, New Yorkers tend to set aside their sense of privacy to extend their help to someone in need. Even if the women in the platform don’t know each other, they joined forces and surrounded the pregnant woman to protect her.