In the song "Little Boxes," by Malvina Reynolds, what kind of view of American society is evident?

Asked on by ljm3515

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The view of American society shown in this song holds that our suburbanized American society is excessively materialistic, conformist, and concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses.”  It is a view that would have been common among young people in the 1960s (when Reynolds wrote the song) as they looked at the society that was left over from the 1950s.

Reynolds’ song sees American society as a machine for replicating itself.  Everyone goes to the university where the all come to look the same.  They go and live in houses that all look the same.  They all want the same things and they want to look just like everyone else. 

To Reynolds, American society was a society that was too concerned with doing and having the “right” things where “right” was defined as “just like everyone else.”

aroberts83's profile pic

aroberts83 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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The view of a conformist and homogenized American society is portrayed in the song "Little Boxes."  The songwriter is demonstrating a baby-boomer era societal need to maintain uniformity with each other.  To have what others have and base success on material and superficial things.  Everyone is seeking the same progressions (doctors, lawyers, business executives) and living in identical houses. 

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