Modern Literature Essay

Modern Literature Essay

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Katherine Krassilnikoff Modern Literature Everyone knows what it is like to feel alone. That you are different in ways that somehow isolate you from your peers. This can be due to racial barriers, language barriers, or simply not following or buying into what society presents as what should be believed in or do. These differences drastically change a person s life, marginalizing them and pushing them to the edges of society. Modern literature targets those people that are outcasts and explores their sense of individuality and what makes them different. In Araby, James Joyce expresses the sense of seclusion of a young boy trapped in between childhood and manhood. His new feelings for Mangan s sister confuse him and occupy his time that is usually spent playing ball or running around. Unlike the other children, he is inside alone, From the front window I saw my companions playing below in the street. Their cries reached me weakened and indistinct and, leaning my forehead against the cool glass, I looked over at the dark house where she lived. I may have stood there for an hour, seeing nothing but the brown-clad figure cast by my imagination, touched discreetly by the lamplight at the curved neck, at the hand upon the railings and at the border below the dress (19). The boy is caught in between childhood and puberty. He cannot go back to his childhood yet, as he learns at the bazaar, he is not yet ready to move on. At this stage in life, themselves often leave boys that develop early with feelings that their companions cannot grasp quite yet. Society, the source of these feelings, also casts these boys aside. In the Pink stresses the differences between the everyday life of a soldier and of an average citizen. The soldier is thinking back to his days at home, When he s go out as cheerful as a lark in his best suit to wander arm-in-arm with brown-eyed Gwen, and whisper in her ear the simple, silly things she liked to hear (32). It seems as if he is already dead, looking back on what made his life meaningful. Alienated from society, soldiers can only look back at their lives. There are no more events that are worth remembering. The everyday life of an average citizen is so different from theirs and yet they do not matter. There is no way that they can re enter society due to the fact that they have awaken from the disillusionment of what war was really like and what life really means. As society becomes more and more standardized, each and every one of us strives to achieve the conformed view of what we should be. If a person fails, society automatically rejects them. Left by themselves, the more reality they see and the more they feel alone. Their false image of the world is shattered by this reality and it causes them to even further isolate themselves into a world where they are in control. Society is constantly raising the standards for what a human being should be. This disillusionment causes even the youngest child to believe that that is what they must become, no matter the consequences. This is how the war got started as well as the emotional breakdown that followed.

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