The Laundromat as a Marker for Class in Tim Morris's "Suds" and Lucia Perillo's "For My Washer and Dryer"

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Ibis Gómez-Vega


This essay examines how two American writers associate the use of public washers and dryers at the Laundromat with poverty and, by extension, almost unconsciously, with the bad behavior that is often associated with people who live in communities at risk where poverty rules their lives. Tim Morris clearly looks down on the people who use the Laundromat and considers himself lucky because he and his wife "were getting out of that burg" and would therefore be rid of the problem of using the Laundromat. In her poem, Lucia Perillo sees only the negative side of using the Laundromat, from dead flies by the window to a television that does not work right, and once she witnesses a case of extreme violence against a woman, she drives home calculating how to stop using the Laundromat. She considers buying her own washer and dryer her "retreat" from having to use the public machines and witness the "hard luck" of other people. For Morris and Perillo, using Laundromat is a class thing, a temporary inconvenience; they have economic options that other users do not have.

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Gómez-Vega, I. (2019). The Laundromat as a Marker for Class in Tim Morris’s "Suds" and Lucia Perillo’s "For My Washer and Dryer". Humanities Bulletin, 2(1), 185-196. Retrieved from