Debra Marquart's The Horizontal World

Decent Essays

In her 2006 memoir, The Horizontal World, Debra Marquart talks about the region where she grew up. North Dakota is part of the Midwest region that is labeled as being lackluster. In this memoir, Marquart characterizes the upper Midwest as a place that has some unique characteristics, contrary to what most people believe. She uses allusions and an anecdote to demonstrate how the Midwest, apart from having a dull appearance, has redeeming qualities and is a special place in the eyes of people who were seeking opportunities for new beginnings. The upper Midwest has a juxtaposed characterization because some people are inspired by it, while others stereotype it as an area that has nothing to offer. In the beginning of this piece, Marquart alludes …show more content…

She continues to reference other people’s perspectives of the region by writing how she “recently heard a comedian” say how it was an uneventful place, and how the Midwest “is a place considered devoid of stories.” When the author gives other people credit for their statements in correspondence with the upper Midwest, it gives the reader the impression that Debra Marquart does not agree with these previous statements. She chooses to introduce the common ideas that people use to characterize the Midwest at the beginning to explain the characterization given by others before she tells the reader how she sees it in her own eyes. The use of allusions shows the reader of the multiple things said about the upper Midwest whether it be good or bad. The characterizations are not all deprecating. Aside from Marquart using perspectives that describe it as being “a flyover region one must endure to get to more interesting places,” there are some included that present the area as a place that sparks creativity for many writers. It is mentioned that some writers base characters and settings from Midwesterners “where all women are strong, all the men are …show more content…

Marquart characterizes the Midwest by explaining how other viewed its physical aspects, but she also connects it a meaning that shows how characterization of a region is much deeper than just how it looks and how others perceive

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