Essay PreviewMore ↓
And John Updike's "Talk of the Town: September 11th, 2001"
September 11th, 2001 unknowingly changed the nation. That very morning, several members of Al Qaeda hijacked four commercial airplanes. As a result of this evil act, thousands of innocent lives were taken. Two prominent writers, James Nachtwey and John Updike, were able to capture the story and its identical feelings of that day, from two separate boroughs. James Nachtwey wrote “Ground Zero,” and John Updike published a similar essay called “Talk of the Town: September 11th, 2001.”
James Nachtwey was born in Massachusetts and attended Dartmouth College for Political Science and Art History. His first day of work was as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico in 1976. When James Nachtwey takes pictures, he just follows the words of his inner soul. Nachtwey dedicates “himself to documenting wars, conflicts, and critical social issues (jamesnachtwey.com).” Altogether, James Nachtwey has worked in over twenty two countries. Since 1984, he has held a signed contract working for Time Magazine. James is a very prestigious artist and has received many honors for his work.
James Nachtwey’s story “Ground Zero” is a reflection about September 11th. He was in his apartment on South Street, Seaport in Manhattan when he heard a striking sound. After noticing the burning towers, his first instinct was to grab the camera and go on his rooftop. When he arrived, the buildings were being evacuated and most of the people leaving were unharmed. The first tower collapsed and the city filled with smoke and remains. The area was so empty it almost seemed unreal, similar to a fiction movie. While working, the second tower fell. Nachtwey realized if he didn’t relocate he would be killed. He decided to search for safety. He found an empty elevator and went inside. Everything was pitch-black and it became hard to breathe. Having previous experience in combat and real life threats helped him survive and carry on to take pictures of the courageous firemen. Although willing, he realized he was not needed to take the role of a fireman or police officer so he continued taking pictures. The pictures he had taken were so demolished; it looked as if they had been run over.
How to Cite this Page
"Two Cities; One United Nation." 123HelpMe.com. 08 Dec 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Bellamy’s notion of ‘character’ centres on an individual’s ability to rise above their current situation in order to attain liberal autonomy. This does not mean having absolute right to pursue purely personal desires; it means acquiring social and political independence through determination and ‘force of will’. This theory of liberalism underpinned social reforms in the Victorian era and Charles Dickens’s considers these concepts and ideals in his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, through the doubling of character and place, and personification of abstract ideas.... [tags: A Tale of Two Cities, Victorian era]
818 words (2.3 pages)
- A Nation State is a term composed of two key notions: “nation” and “state”. A nation is defined as a community of people with comparable cultural, ethnic and historical backgrounds who domicile in defined international borders and have some form of recognised governing body which overseas the nation. It is important to note that the word “nation” refers only to a socio-cultural entity, a group of people that share culture, language and traditions. The concept doesn’t necessarily embody the formal political organisations, such as countries.... [tags: Nation, Nationalism, Sovereignty, Nation state]
1413 words (4 pages)
- Public Health & Cities: Are Cities Detrimental to One’s Health. Megacities around the world have been expanding exponentially due the attractiveness of their vibrant lifestyles, picturesque skyscrapers, and vast opportunities for business. The life in the city can be attributed with glittering success and abundance of activities and opportunities. By immersing into the hustling environment, people tend to have more stressful and strenuous lifestyle. Many researchers and public health experts are speculating that the busyness and exposure in the city lifestyle can be detrimental to city dwellers’ health.... [tags: megacities, skyscrapers, pollution]
1595 words (4.6 pages)
- India India is well known as a nation of contrasts, and the nation itself is a paradox. It is one of the world’s oldest known civilizations, yet it has only existed as the nation the world now know sit for 67 years. Similarly, it has produced some of the most important contributions to mathematics, science, philosophy, and trade, yet it is still considered to be a developing nation. The country’s history is a long, winding journey that has led it to its current state – the world’s largest democracy featuring both the same technological advancements enjoyed by the first world and the same challenges and problems faced by the rest of the developing world.... [tags: India, Indus Valley Civilization, Soviet Union]
1072 words (3.1 pages)
- Christianity is the world 's biggest religion with about two in half billion fellows. One country that many people have been debating if they classify as a Christian nation is the United States of America. The question is America a Christian nation. Many people will have their own opinion to answer that question. To answer that question without having a bias, we must look at the population, politics, the structure of how the government was formed and movements to show that the United States of America is not a Christian Nation.... [tags: United States, Christianity]
1564 words (4.5 pages)
- Today the United States of America is regarded as a global economic leader. The standard of living in the U.S. is higher than that of most other nations. Our nation is considered an economic super-power. Economic needs have often caused Americans to seek immigrants as workers, and economic opportunities have attracted foreigners. The United States is a nation of immigrants. Our nation has been shaped by successive waves of immigrants who have played major roles in our changing economy. The overwhelming majority of immigrants who enter the United States come in search of jobs and a chance at a better life for themselves and their families.... [tags: Immigration Essays]
1654 words (4.7 pages)
- The American dream is an illusion of any person aspiring to be a part of a nation that calls itself “the home of the free”. Often imagery of America communicates ideas of freedom, equality, and success in life, from these we associate the American Dream. Immigrants are trying to escape from other nations where there are people dying in the streets and families that cannot make enough money to put food on the table. These people see America as the land of prosperity and opportunity; many come to this country for refuge.... [tags: Immigration]
1671 words (4.8 pages)
- The United States experienced many different world events that helped propel it to becoming the world’s super power. From the Monroe Doctrine which would help the United States isolate itself from the Colonialism of the European nations and set itself as the super power of the America’s, to the Spanish American War which ended Spanish rule in the America’s as well as helped the United States acquire its own territories, to the first and second World Wars which ultimately bankrupted all of Europe, to the rise and fall of Communism and the ending of the Cold War.... [tags: American History]
1127 words (3.2 pages)
- The CSA as a Nation If the South had won the Civil War, where might our two countries be today. Would slavery have been phased out, and if so, how soon. Would the South have erected tariffs and immigration quotas. Would Disney World have been located in Florida, and Dollywood in Tennessee. Would there be unified currency for the U.S. and CSA, and would it be any stronger than the Euro. The Confederate States of America would currently be the world's fourth-largest economic power if the Civil War had turned out differently and the rest of history had gone the same.... [tags: Papers]
361 words (1 pages)
- The Aztec Nation A distant sound is heard. It sounds like a deep drum being hit with a heavy instrument. You hear it again and strain your eyes in the direction of the sound. All around you is dense jungle. Snakes slither between your legs. You hear the sound once again. In front of you is a dense stand of ferns. You part them and look down into a wide open valley. The valley gets so wide and it is so green that it takes your breath away. But that is not what you are looking at. You are staring at a huge city with glittering buildings shining in the spring sunlight.... [tags: essays research papers]
5935 words (17 pages)
World-renowned writer John Updike is known for his creative writing. He was raised in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated as the co-valedictorian and the president of his class. His mother was a writer and his father was a teacher. He attended Harvard University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He also studied drawing for a year at Oxford. On April 1st, 1955, his daughter Elizabeth was born. After returning from England, Updike got a job working for The New Yorker magazine as a reporter for the “Talk of the Town” articles. Soon after, he started creating essays, fiction and poetry that led to the prominent artist he is today.
John Updike’s “essay on the destruction of the World Trade Center, was published in the New Yorker about a week after the attack.” It was called “Talk of the Town: September 11th, 2001.” He was in his tenth-floor apartment in Brooklyn Heights. A babysitter, while in the library, noticed the smoking of the north tower and called 911. Updike and his wife watched the south tower crash. “It fell straight down like an elevator, with a tinkling shiver and a groan of concussion distinct across the mile of air.” At that moment, thousands of people were dying, left and right. A cloud of smoke covered the south part of Manhattan. The images of that day were reenacted on the television over and over again. He talks about the phone calls that must have been made to loved ones; the sound of an airplane playing in his head, and the destruction that mankind is capable of. Updike went back to that very same window the next morning. The city was covered in debris, but the sun was shining. And, “New York looked glorious (Updikehandout).”
Both “Ground Zero” and “Talk of the Town: September 11th” are equally significant. Each piece portrays the mood of sadness and terror that everyone had to experience that day. The main difference between the two is that Nachtwey is a photographer and a writer, but Updike is solely a writer. In both pieces, the writers are located in their apartments. Nachtwey is in Manhattan, and Updike is in Brooklyn. Updike watched the tragic incident from his apartment with his wife, while Nachtwey was on the scene capturing pictures. Nachtwey was most likely affected more by September 11th than Updike. This is because Nachtwey was on the street underneath the burning towers while Updike watched from his apartment window. Being on the scene probably caused him a lot more stress and fear. In both works, the artists experience all of the same emotions. Nachtwey states “It seemed like a movie set from a science-fiction film,” and Updike writes “The nightmare is still on.” This reveals that both writers thought the incident felt completely unreal. Both also witnessed the flaming of the towers, the courageous workers, but most of all the thousands of innocent people dying.
“Ground Zero” is an autobiography. The essay is more of reminiscence piece. He mostly talks about what he was doing and what he saw that day: “When the first tower fell, people ran in panic.” When reading his piece, the reader is able to see what is happening through his eyes and in his perspective. He makes the reader feel as if he/she was actually there. The tone of the story is calm. He demonstrates that it is possible to reminisce about a tragic incident in a peaceful manner. “Talk of the Town” is a short-view essay. The tone of his voice is informative. Updike ponders the actual freedom we have here in the United States: is it an opened door for danger? Enough freedom that allows kamikaze pilots to attend a flying school in Florida? In the essay, the writer describes what is happening as if it could be anyone describing it.
September 11th, 2001, I remember that day clearly. I feel as if it was only a year ago. I was in seventh grade. I was in my Spanish class. An announcement came across our loud speaker. It was not a very precise description of the event, because it was unclear what had really happened at that time. The whole school stopped what they were doing that day. No teacher dared to carry on with their lesson. Everyone was in shock. I went home, and finally got the chance to put on the television for myself. I saw the burning towers. I saw people jumping from the highest floors. But mainly, I felt nothing but complete horror.
All in all, September 11th had an effect on every person in the United States. Our Nation nowadays has more awareness, and particularly more pride than ever before. As the reader can observe, James Nachtwey and John Updike have related views on September 11th. Although one watched from an apartment, and one on the grounds, both writers were able to converse about the story that changed their lives forever.
Nachtwey, James. "Ground Zero." Seeing & Writing 3. Boston: Bedford/St.
Martin's, 2006. 304-307.
Nachtwey, James. James Nachtwey. 9 Nov. 2007.
Updike, John. Class Handout. 12 Oct. 2007.
Yerkes, James. A brief Updike biographical and literary chronology. 12 Feb. 2007.