Marrying Absurd Joan Didion Thesis Prostitution Should Not Be Legalized Thesis

Once, while in Vegas, Didion overheard a girl who could hardly be sixteen and was clearly pregnant announce that her quick Vegas wedding had been everything she had ever imagined it would be.Didion writes this essay with a clear opinion that Las Vegas...NYPL's Genoveve Stowell reads from "Marrying Absurd," an essay by Joan Didion.Las Vegas is a place where a couple of kids can go and get married for only a few dollars, as long as they have their parent's permission or are of a legal age.In this elegiac piece, Didion mourns the passing of several things: the passage of time; the various changes to the town over the years; the loss of connections with the old Sacramento; the loss of people with the knowledge of how things used to be.I mentioned earlier the strong sense of place that runs through many of the pieces in this collection.

She describes a town that had grown up on the farming industry only to discover (much to its shock) that the land could be put to more profitable use – certainly as far as the wider world of the 1950s was concerned.Before I finish, I’d like to highlight another couple of common themes, the first of which revolves around some form of social fragmentation or disintegration.It’s there in several of the essays I’ve discussed so far; and it’s also present in the titular piece, an account of the time Didion spent in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco where she hung out with the street kids, the movers and shakers in the neighbourhood.One is standing on a highway in the middle of a vast hostile desert looking at an eighty-food sign which blinks “STARDUST” or Yes, but what does that explain?This geographical implausibility reinforces the sense that what happens there has no connection with “real” life; Nevada cities like Reno and Carson are ranch towns, Western towns, places behind which there is some historical imperative.By July of 1967 Howard Hughes is the largest single landholder in Clark County, Nevada.“Howard likes Las Vegas,” an acquaintance of Hughes’s once explained, “because he likes to be able to find a restaurant open in case he wants a sandwich.” (p.Marriage is a big business in Las Vegas, with many chapels specifically advertising cheap weddings.Despite this cheap and quick attitude toward the institution of marriage, many people still appear to take care in their wedding planning, wearing lace and inviting friends to stand up as bridesmaids.71) As far as Didion sees it, the fact that we have made a folk hero of this man – someone who actually represents the complete opposite of our traditional heroes – tells us something interesting about ourselves.She argues that the real point of money and power in America is not the obvious one (the things that money can buy and the buzz to be gained from flexing one’s muscles); rather it is the ability to facilitate personal freedom, mobility and privacy that is important. A couple of my favourite pieces in the collection focus on the personal, areas that reveal something enlightening about Didion herself.

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  1. A container for all this ecological trouble, this peak-oil business, this malaise of numbness that seems to shroud even the most privileged. That implies a base line of anxiety, not relationship. It places full creative impetus on the human, not the sensate energies that surround and move through them, it shuts down the notion of a dialogue worth happening, it shuts down that big old word animism. Two routes towards the cultivation of that very dreaming was through wilderness initiation and, by illumination of the beautiful suffering it engendered, a crafting of it into story to the waiting community.