Anyone Lived Into A Pretty How Town, By. Cummings

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The poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” by E.E. Cummings paints a postcard perfect Wisteria Lane-esque town, but it is far from the suburban utopia that one might think. It is hard to follow one’s dreams or to be able to express one’s individuality with the pressure of society and their preconceived idea of how life should be. Even the economy can be a factor to living one’s life. Responsibilities and bills start to add up, seasons come and go and eventually one is belled down by society. Society has a façade that there is a strong sense of camaraderie in the community but it is more like the bystander effect when people do not offer any sort of help to a person in need especially when there are other people around. In the end though society and people in general will meet the same ending and the cycle starts all over again. The symbols and conflict between the uses of words with the imagery in the poem signifies how easy it is to conform to a veiled society and slowly forgetting what our dreams are. No matter what humans will all reach the end and the same society will cycle again in another generation. In the first stanza the speaker talks about how “anyone” (ln 1) “sang his didn’t he danced his did” (ln 4) which is odd because “didn’t” and “did” are verbs but are being used as nouns. Anyone is also being used as a noun, but it has a double meaning where anyone is everyone in society. The imagery and conflict between words of “with up so floating many bells down” (ln 2) is confusing with the words like “up,” “floating,” and “bells down.” Dreams are usually associated with looking up in the sky and imagining the possibilities of life and the future. Instantly, the words “bells down” literally brings one down back to earth... ... middle of paper ... ...is a quatrains because each stanza has four lines. There isn’t much of a meter in the poem but one can hear a rhythm that sounds like a nursery rhyme, something that one would typically find in a suburban town, but with darker, adult theme of conformity in society and the endless cycle of life and death. Some of the words rhyme but it is not consistent throughout the poem. The speaker slowly goes into a sense of something familiar when we hear a rhyme but then takes breaks away to keep the audience from expecting what they think should be a rhyme. “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” by E.E. Cummings is anything but the perfect suburban paradise one would see on a TV show. Because of societal pressure it is easier to slip into conformity and lose a sense of self and of the people around oneself. Eventually there is a homogenous population of the same boring people.
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