Joan Didion The White Album Analysis

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The hippie movement is arguably one of the most famous culture movements from the twentieth century, made widely famous in pop-culture involving romanticized images of overly friendly people clothed in bell-bottom pants and flower-print button down shirts. The romanticization of this movement allowed for a widely accepted and skewed view of the true events that happened during this time. The reality is much darker than publicized to the ignorant generations that followed. It can be maintained by many that personal experience and firsthand knowledge provides the most accurate depiction of the true happenings of the time period. Through vivid imagery and impersonal diction, Joan Didion offers a critical unveiling the mayhem that she witnessed during her various firsthand immersions in the developing culture of the 1960s.
Didion opens “The White Album” with the bold generalization that …show more content…

She includes a psychiatric report where the doctor notes, “In her view she lives in a world of people moved by strange, conflicted, poorly comprehended, and above all, devious motivations which commit them inevitably to conflict and failure” (“The White Album” 15). Didion purposely avoids giving personal input during her descriptions of experiences, including this excerpt gives insight into her attitude and mental state during this chaotic time. This description reflects how the time period took a significant toll on her mental health. By including this excerpt, Didion makes the implication about her opinion of her surrounding environment. Didion gets lost in the darkness of the stories that she is dedicated to document through her journalism. Although she does not offer subjective opinions on her experiences, these experiences clearly affect her in a negative manner. She attempts to disconnect herself from the world around her, but instead becomes a silent victim of the turmoil of the chaotic

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