Speed Of Big City Life Cultural Studies Essay

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A small town is also entirely different when contrasted against a larger city in appearance. As John Jackle mentions: This study argues that towns and cities shared much in common, the result of one important fact. Most big city residents in America's early twentieth century cities came from small town or rural backgrounds. They brought small town ways to big city life."(Jackle, 1) Some small towns themselves nowadays seem like massive tangled knot of parking lots, avenues, service roads, and highways exactly like in big cities. For unfamiliar travelers, businesses and developing neighborhoods make it very problematic to get from one destination to the next without asking for directions. Small buildings connect together like Legos to house businesses that will soon be vacant, and soon thereafter replenished. Billboards outline the roadways and large signs tower over buildings all advertising to certain individuals. While small, irrelevant shrubs feeble around consistent, barren houses in an effort to embellish a desolate city. In contrast, a small town is made up of large grid work, the entire town is divided into two blocks that only have a few outer roads and highways entering and exiting the city. As Bethany Warner explains: "Living in close proximity, such as in a small town or distinct city enclave creates community bonds because people see each other continuously. European cities are structured around this idea, having central squares and preserved green spaces." (Warner, 28) In Lars and the Real Girl, Lars arrives at work and the receptionist greets him and encourages him to talk to the new girl and get a date. He politely ignores her and disappears behind the double doors. This is where all of the cubicles are. He walks to his desk and passes by the new girl. At this point you finally understand he lives in a pretty small town. Each city block has at least one alleyway, possibly two. The intentions they serve are mainly for garbage pickup and parking for residences. Most of small towns are housing. Every house is unique, many hundreds of years old and family built. Many small family owned businesses exclusively share the same space, some of which are then into homes. The busiest roadway is also a section of highway, which comes directly through town. This is where residents will find necessary stores, like fast food chains and department stores, all sharing the same parking lot. In a small town a typical day is spent at ease, especially if compared to the whirlwind of city life. The opening scene summarily characterizes Blue Velvet in theme and plot. Following the lush, fifties-style opening credits, the screen shows a blue sky, flowers, the local firefighters riding through town waving, and Jeffrey's father watering the lawn, all in brilliant, almost surreal color. Then the scene, which might have come from a generation earlier, is interrupted by a massive stroke that drops Mr. Beaumont to his back. The camera pans deeply into the well groomed lawn and uncovers combating insects. Likewise, the camera plunges unflinchingly into the unseen, discomforting side of Lumbertown.

Since most businesses are in the same proximity in a small town, morning and noon rush is not intimidating, unlike hours of bumper cars that is in the big city. After parents get out of work, most families spend time together, perhaps going to dinner or a movie. Most children come home from school and run about their neighborhood until the street lights come on, with no fear of anything criminal happening. On the weekends it is common to see families and neighbors having cookouts in their yards. Though technically illegal, some may have a bonfire. Although spending a day at one of the parks in town is one of the most popular among residents. As John Jackle states, "If the small town was seen to excite tight bonds of social security, then the city did not. If the city represented the cold realization of a new mass society, the small town did not. Stereotypic thinking has always been (and always will be) influential in how Americans not only conceptualize, but configure the nations built environments."(Jackle, 1)

For some individuals, the stress and speed of big city life is a trip to insanity. While many others cannot seem to stand the slow, inactivity of a small town. As Roman author, orator and politician Cicero stated: “To each his own”. This statement applies accurately to the selection of living luxurious and living simple. Sadly, small towns may be disappearing before our eyes with the current rate of human expansion. As Paul Kantor remarks: "Small-town America is easily overlooked. The spreading of suburbia has usually enveloped (or paved over) little towns located near the rim of metropolitan areas. Interstate highways typically by-pass them. Similarly, the attention of academic urban specialists is more likely to be directed to big cities, not small-towns, in order to understand the dynamics of urban change"(Kantor,415) Perhaps someday, cities will all merge together and memories of simple, small rural areas will fade. Yet for now, it is nice to sit back and notice the staggering conflicting difference between the two life styles.