Hillbilly Elegy

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere indledningen til bogen Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis af J.D. Vance, som har været brugt til en skriftlig eksamen i Engelsk B på STX fra 27. maj 2019. Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til diskussion og perspektivering. 


Write a short summary of J.D. Vance’s introduction to his book Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis in about 125 words.

Write an analytical essay (600-900 words) about the text. Your essay must focus on how the issue of the American Dream is presented. Discuss briefly the individual’s possibility of living out The American Dream in the USA today.

Include the following analytical terms in your essay: topic, writing style, intention

In your essay you must include references to the text.

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (2017)
Forfatter: James David Vance
Genre: Non-fiction

James David Vance (f. 1984) er en amerikansk finansmand, som har skrevet den selvbiografiske bog Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, som var på bestsellerlisten i The New York Times i to år i træk.

Teksten er ledsaget af en video om folk i Appalachia-området i USA, som ofte bliver udsat for hån og diskrimination fra det øvrige samfund. Videoen nævner at disse folk faktisk har givet vigtige bidrag til det amerikanske samfund, på trods af de negative eller stereotype opfattelser af dem, som man ofte møder i det øvrige USA. 

Mere hjælp

Har du brug for yderligere hjælp, kan du læse Studienets vejledning til at skrive analytical essays:

Vejledning til analytical essay

Få hjælp til at skrive et analytical essay i Engelsk med Studienets trin-for-trin vejledning. Vejledningen kan både bruges til opgaver inden for fiction og non-fiction.


Nedenfor kan du læse et kort uddrag fra vores study guide til teksten:


Sometimes writers appeal to emotions in an attempt to stir emotions in readers and achieve their intention. In the text, Vance offers many personal details about his past and his family and connects them with different emotions. For example, he mentions: “I nearly gave in to the deep anger and resentment harbored by everyone around me” (ll. 19-20).  The feeling or anger and resentment can appeal to people who are in similar situation, but also to those that want to understand what it means to be poor and lose hope.  

Another example is: “My primary aim is to tell a true story about what that problem feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck.” (ll. 108-109) This alludes to feeling desperate and hopeless and further encourages readers to empathise with how many poor people feel.

When talking about to the community he grew up, Vance appeals to positive emotions to counteract common negative perceptions about them: “Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends, and family” (ll. 39-40).  By talking about friends and family, he alludes to feelings of love, affection, and compassion, feelings that readers can relate to even if they did not grow up in a poor environment.

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Hillbilly Elegy

  • 14-10-2020
    Givet af 2.g'er på STX