Essay on The Knowledge Of The Line : Realism And The City

Essay on The Knowledge Of The Line : Realism And The City

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A couple from the countryside decides to move to the city and rent a flat in the short literary piece entitled “Their Experience in a Flat” by Christine Terhune Herrick. The location of the city is never mentioned, which seems to create the impression that the couple’s experience is typical of most urban cities. The couple, suitably named the Goodenoughs, initially want to find a house, but later decide to rent a flat instead. Their hunt is reminiscent of the March’s apartment search in William Dean Howells’ A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890). Like the Goodenoughs, the Marches also relocated from a smaller location to a hectic urban city. In the essay entitled “‘The Knowledge of the Line’: Realism and the City in Howells’s A Hazard of New Fortunes,” (1986) author Amy Kaplan writes about the prevalence of moving to the city in the late nineteenth century: “Like many other middle-class families in the 1880s, the Marches are renting an apartment in an urban center for the first time in their lives” (73). The Goodenough’s experience of life in a flat, however, proves to be more chall...

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