The Wall Street Journal
March 11, 2016
Peggy Noonan, in her article “Farewell to Nancy Reagan, a Friend and Patriot,” (March 2016) reflects on the life of her friend Nancy Reagan and writes that with her death, America lost a connection to the Regan era. Noonan develops her article by writing that she would rather remember her friend than make “comparisons to the current moment” and crafts a nostalgic piece about a woman who was, in her eyes, a true American. Noonan chooses to focus on the good in Nancy’s life and the ways that she helped Raegan lead in order to pay respects in a sense to the former First Lady. She aims this article at those who remember the Reagan era, at those who remember a time before Trump was the GOP frontrunner, to help them remember a better time in American history and a woman who helped craft the era of Regan.
Noonan’s primary role here is that of a reflective friend. She includes lines such as “she was my darling friend,” to establish her credibility as someone who actually knew Nancy Reagan. She describes Nancy as a fun loving woman who helped Ronald in many ways and crafted the role of the American First Lady in order to prove to readers the significance of her death. Noonan uses anecdotes about Nancy and describes her and ‘Ronnie’ to show readers that she knew Nancy and to humanize her in a way. She reminds readers who would remember of things that Nancy said and did, of the fact that there was smoking and drinking and dancing in the Reagan White House in order to show readers a life-loving Nancy Regan and a time where America seemed to be happier than it is today.
I found Noonan’s reflection on the Reagan era and the life of Nancy Reagan to be fitting and refreshing given that it would have been easy to make a “comparison to the current moment.” While I obviously was not alive during the Reagan era, I appreciated Noonan’s discussion of Nancy’s role in developing the role of the First Lady and the descriptions of the Reagan White House.