Old Friends by Tracy Kidder
An analysis of the book “Old Friends” by Tracy Kidder which examines the way old age is viewed in America.
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In our youth conscious society it is common to reject the wisdom of the old and to value instead only the potential of the young. This paper analyzes Tracy Kidder’s book on the subject, Old Friends which examines the way old age is viewed in American society by focusing on two men in a nursing home.
The strength that is characteristic of these two men, and the independence they exhibited in life makes their existence in a nursing home extremely difficult, where their lives, like children, are governed by routine, and their lives, like the sick, seem purposeless and aimless. Unlike the sick, there is often the attitude that the old have simply been shut away to die, now that they no longer have anything to give back to society and cannot take care of themselves alone. However, life at a nursing home continues the lives these men lived on the outside rather than merely terminates it.