RD MP2 - Brian Lau English 111 V Curtis Hisayasu 5/22/07...

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Brian Lau English 111 V Curtis Hisayasu 5/22/07 Major Paper #2 Has the thought ever crossed your mind that we live in a world where we have more encounters with strangers than people we do know? On a broader level, does a city environment shape how people interact with each other? To understand this topic, I will look at Jane Jacobs’s “The Use of Sidewalks: Safety” and Paul Auster’s “City of Glass” in order to look specifically for how the consequences of changing city life has affected space and identity. Jane Jacobs argues that the streets, the “eyes on the street” and life on the sidewalk defines everything of what a city should be. If the sidewalks are walkable and neighborhoods are compact with people, and people gather in the open to spend time together, then these are the signs of a healthy city. “A well-used city street is apt to be a safe street. A deserted city street is apt to be unsafe” (Jacobs 116). Plain as can see, if there are many people using a city street, there would be nothing wrong with it. Why would they be using it if it were unsafe? However, you cannot just force people to use the streets in order to make it a well-used one. You have to place “stores and other public places” along the sidewalks. This will give people a reason to walk on the streets and the surveillance of the shopkeepers will keep the street safe. Jacobs also argues that urban renewal is causing chaos and ruining communities. Instead, she says urban renewal should incorporate more of an aesthetic feeling where
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cities are built like neighborhoods. That way, people will not be forced to live like strangers anymore. Jane Jacobs says that this urban renewal policy creates isolated and unnatural spaces. Paul Auster’s “City of Glass” addresses this issue by creating a story in which a character named Daniel Quinn is forced to live a desolate life in which the only way for him to interact with others is to use different identities to address each situation. The way
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGL 131 taught by Professor Anderson,donaldl during the Spring '08 term at University of Washington.

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RD MP2 - Brian Lau English 111 V Curtis Hisayasu 5/22/07...

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