IOC Preparation: Didion & Hamlet

Overview of Joan Didion Didion is a very highly-praised American prose writer. Despite any doubt about the accuracy of her reports, they are engaging and thought-provoking. Purely reporting was not Didion’s goal. Rather, in Slouching Toward Bethlehem, she was out to reveal the dismantling of traditional society that she saw happening all around her in her beloved California. Her emphasis was not on the facts, but on what the facts represented, and therefore acute factual accuracy was not necessarily crucial to her writing.
Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream In the story a woman named Lucille Maxwell Miller is convicted for allegedly killing her husband in very unsettling way. While sleeping in her car he was drenched with gasoline and is seeming unaccidentaly burned to death. She is having a affair with someone else, which sets us up for a, who done it, type of story. She is determined guilty and sent to The California Institution for Women at Frontera where she remained.Didion gets her information because people want to talk with a women. She also does a great job of telling both sides of the story and leaving it ambiguous at the end.
7000 Romaine Place Seven thousand Romaine is the address of the building where Howard Hughes lived. From the outside, one might assume the building was abandoned because of the boarded-up windows and overall feel of abandonment. Didion lived near the building and had many occasions to drive past it, so naturally she felt some curiosity about the man who lived inside. However, her curiosity could not match that of the general population. People often lived on stories about how Howard Hughes was buying up Las Vegas, or how he called his business associates adversaries. During this time period, Didion hears these rumors about Howard Hughes almost on a daily basis and finds herself wondering why people are so curious about this man.The importance of place is seen especially in this work. The place/address of Howard Hughes is the title. The work is generally about her curiosity and when someone accumulates that much wealth and power, they can do whatever they want.
California Dreaming
Slouching Towards Bethlehem Didion rejected, but found that she could not ignore, the negative aspects of the drug culture associated with the anti-Establishment movements that grew out of the Beat Generation. Because it was threatening California’s frontier traditions of responsible self-reliance, she decided to put aside her preference for privacy and describe the disorder. She discovered that in many ways the so-called counterculture mirrored the shallowness of the Establishment against which it purported to take its stand. The dropouts shared the same self-centeredness, indifference, and casual relationships that marked large corporations.
On Morality Joan Didion points out that everyone has their own interpretation of morality. Most people use morality to justify their actions and decisions. Others think that their definition of morality is a standard that everyone has. Didion objects saying that everyone has their own definition.
Rock of Ages Joan Didion goes to Alcatraz 4 years after its closing. The only person on the island is an ex-guard, who is now the caretaker. The prison’s upkeep is too expensive to preserve, so repairs have ceased. Joan enjoys the peaceful and isolated environment of the island, regardless of its violent past.