Alienation and Loneliness in The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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Poe like McCarthy does not straight out inform the readers of facts, they leave out details that are deemed unnecessary to the theme and the main idea of the story. However, most ideas can be inferred due to the clues they leave in their language. For an example, in The Fall of the House of Usher solitary sounding words are used such as, bleak and vacant. “I looked upon the scene before me—upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain—upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant, eye-like windows-upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation…”

In an article written by Deborah Orr from The Guardian she states that “alienation causes murder and violence- not gender, or religion.” In the article she reviews the trial of Mark Bridger, who was convicted of abducting and murdering a five years-old April Jones. Mark Bridger lured April into a car near her home when April was playing outside on her bike. Bridger murdered the five year-old, concealed the body before disposing the body. Bridger was a college drop-out who drifted through series of jobs. He also drifted through a series of relationships that did not end positively. His past relationships described him as someone who would send angry text messages, and would occasionally get physical. Bridger did not have any well known connections except for the few neighbors that would say greetings to him outside. Deborah argues that children who are neglected, and don’t learn the proper way of socialization stray from the “social norm.” She argues that alienation causes violence due to the fact that individuals do not socialize, which causes their brains to stop functioning at a certain rate.

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In another article done by Healthline it states that alienation causes health-related problems such as, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, and disconnection from the world. Alienation is common among adolescents when there are big changes in their surroundings, they become a victim of bullying, or if and when they are detached from their parents from early childhood. The article also states that humans are born as social creatures, and it starts off with regularly socializing with parents, siblings, and grows to peers and spouses. Everyone is born with an “innate need for love, acceptance, recognition, and some sense of belonging.” Infants who do not get the attention they need, can die from loneliness.

Alienation according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person’s affections from an object or position of former attachment: estrangement.” Someone could be feeling alienated due to difference in societal views. It could also be a feeling of not belonging in society. For many years alienation consistently occurred. It continually happened because of society’s apprehensions of a person or thing. The outcome is hurtful and the results are always negative and it is exposed and criticized in many work of literature.

In the The Road the author Cormac McCarthy focuses on the main theme of isolation and loneliness. He removed all unnecessary details in the story to allow the readers interpret how the characters felt in certain scenes. McCarthy goes as far to show that even God has abandoned them. McCarthy doesn’t show God in a religious aspect, but as a scale to show how empty the world was. In a place were “the only thing that moved in the streets was the blowing ash” describes an image of desert, and the air feeling cold and empty. It makes the feeling of isolation extreme, and unbearable. At a place where they used to be liveliness, action, and community; there is nothing left but the ashes on the street. When the Man thinks back to the past when his wife was still alive and when he was able to go outside freely, his better life makes him resent the life he is currently living.

Everyone has felt alone or disconnected from the world at once in their life. Disconnecting from our safe zones, and familiarity can be hard. But even in the hardships of isolation it does not stop positive enforcement of a person, especially in literature. In The Road written by Cormac McCarthy the two main characters must deal with their horrid fate and use whatever they can to survive. Together, they overcome unsurmountable sadness, loneliness, and death.

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