Cultural Significance of Area Codes in Literature and Poetry

Area codes are a numbering system used to identify specific geographic regions within a country. They are used primarily for telephone calls, and each region is assigned a unique three-digit code that precedes the local phone number.

Literature and Poetry  

In these area codes can have cultural significance, as they can be used to evoke a sense of place and identity. They can also be used to highlight the differences between regions and the people who live there.

For example, in hip-hop culture, area codes are often used to represent a specific city or region, and to signal one’s affiliation with that place. The song “Area Codes” by Ludacris is a good example of this, as he raps about the various area codes he knows from around the United States.

In terms of specific area codes, the 732 area code is located in central New Jersey and covers cities such as New Brunswick, Edison, and Asbury Park. It was created in 1997 as an overlay to the existing 908 area code.

The 404 area code is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and covers the city itself as well as some surrounding suburbs. It was originally created in 1947 as one of the first area codes in the United States, and it remains one of the most well-known and recognizable area codes in the country.

Cultural Significance of Area Codes in the 732 Area

Area codes are numerical prefixes that designate geographic regions for telephone calls. The cultural significance of area codes comes from the way they can evoke a sense of place and identity. The 732 area code is significant because it covers central New Jersey, including the cities of New Brunswick, Asbury Park, and Trenton.

The 732 area code was created in 1997 when it split off from the 908 area code, which covered most of central and western New Jersey. The creation of the 732 area code was necessary because of the growth of telecommunications and the increasing demand for phone numbers. As more and more people got phones, the old area codes became saturated, and new area codes had to be created to meet demand.

The 732 area code has become a cultural symbol of central New Jersey. It is often used in literature and poetry to convey a sense of place and identity. For example, in the poem “732” by Patrick Rosal, the area code is used to evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing for a place that the speaker has left behind:

“732, how I miss you

winding streets, cracked pavement

unhurried drivers, the scent

of salt marsh, the sound

of a game on the radio”

In the novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz, the 732 area code is used to ground the story in a specific time and place. The novel is set in the Dominican-American community in New Jersey, and the use of the 732 area code helps to establish the setting and cultural context of the story. The cultural significance of the 732 area code lies in its ability to evoke a sense of place and identity. It is a symbol of central New Jersey and is often used in literature and poetry to convey a sense of nostalgia, longing, and cultural identity.

Cultural Significance of Area Codes in the 404 Area

The cultural significance of the 404 area code refers to the way it has become a symbol of Atlanta’s identity and history, reflecting its evolution from a small southern city to a major urban center with a distinct culture and character.

The 404 area code was first introduced in 1947 and covered the entire state of Georgia. In the years that followed, the state was divided into multiple area codes, with 404 remaining the primary code for the city of Atlanta.

Over time, the area code became increasingly associated with Atlanta’s cultural and historical identity, as it was used in literature, music, and popular culture to evoke a sense of place and community.

How the 404 Area Code has Been Used in Literature

“Atlanta Noir,” a collection of short stories that explore the darker side of the city’s history and culture. Several of the stories use the 404 area code as a way of situating the action in specific neighborhoods and communities, emphasizing the diverse and complex nature of Atlanta’s identity.

How Poets have used the 404 area code

Poets have also used the 404 area code in their work to convey a sense of place and identity. In the poem “404,” by Theresa Davis, the area code is used as a metaphor for the city itself, representing the many different voices and perspectives that make up Atlanta’s cultural landscape. Other poets have used the area code to explore themes of race, class, and community, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that come with living in a diverse and rapidly changing urban environment.


The use of area codes in literature and poetry has become a significant aspect of cultural expression, particularly in the 732 and 404 areas. Through the incorporation of area codes, writers and poets have been able to highlight the unique characteristics, cultural nuances, and experiences of the people residing in these regions. The 732 area code has been associated with the Jersey Shore, with its rich history and coastal lifestyle. The 404 area code, on the other hand, is often used to evoke the cultural landscape of Atlanta, a hub of Black American culture and music.

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