Here Is New York by E. B White summaryWhat is a short summary of the short story "Here is New York" by     E. B White about? What is the Main Idea? Can you back up those Main Ideas from...

Here Is New York by E. B White summary

What is a short summary of the short story "Here is New York" by     E. B White about? What is the Main Idea? Can you back up those Main Ideas from details in the short story?    

Expert Answers
vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One theme of White's essay is that New York differs from many other cities, partly because of the height of so many of its buildings.  New York has had to grow upward, White says, because it has not been able to expand easily in other directions.

Another theme of the essay involves the different kinds of people who come to New York and their different reasons for coming.  Thus, in a particularly famous paragraph, White writes as follows:

There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something ….Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.


Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a real sense, the main theme of Here is New York is the improbability and impossibility of New York:

By rights New York should have destroyed itself long ago, from panic or fire or rioting or failure of some vital supply line in its circulatory system ....

White starts out this work by applying this improbability called New York to individuals saying:

New York ... can destroy an individual, or it can fulfil him ....

White couches this double faceted look at New York in ironical language that reads likes praise but delivers a message bespeaking harm.

The city is like poetry: it compresses all life ... into a small island and adds music ... the poem whose magic is comprehensible to millions of permanent residents but .... At the feet of the tallest and plushiest offices lie the crummiest slums.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Basically, the text is about the New York E. B. White knew when he was growing up as compared to the New York he revisits much later (1948). White gives great detail to the things he remembers and how he cannot accept the changes which have happened since last being there.

For some, the main idea of the story is that we, as humans, have a hard time with change (even if it is staring us in the face).

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It sounds like you need help writing this.  You have a good start from the suggestions here, so let me add how to go about it.  Take the main theme you like, and write a solid thesis statement from it. Then, find specific examples and quotations to support it.  Don't forget page numbers!  In an essay, you would have three main examples and then in the body paragraphs develop them with this evidence.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This story is one that combines the key themes of memory, time, and change, as the author revisits the city and comments upon the way that he remembers it and how it has changed since he was last there. In a sense, White tries to capture the spirit of New York and what makes it such a buzzing metropolis, and the quote posted above is an excellent example of this.