Isolation in American Literature

Topics: American literature, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald Pages: 3 (775 words) Published: March 16, 2008
The individual and his role in society, based on American Literature, is portrayed through many different characters, all sharing the same feelings of isolation. The feeling of isolation, in reference to Huckleberry Finn , is a choice that Huck Finn brings on himself. Throughout rebellion towards his father, Huck tries to find his true self by isolating himself from societies views and beliefs. In the novel Great Gatsby , by F. Scoot Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby was isolated from the outside world by society. Throughout many examples of American Literature we are aware that isolation was not a pleasurable state of freedom, but more like a state of imprisonment brought on by society. In Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Lenny was isolated by societies fear of difference. Society was prejudice against Lenny's differences. This caused isolation in both societies standards and in Lenny's mind. Throughout many images portrayed by American Literature, the recurring theme of isolation is a role that each character takes on based on societies beliefs, views, and prejudices.

Isolation played a key role of the character development in Huckleberry Finn. Twain carefully selected ways to show isolation in Huck's life based on societies views of his adventures, thoughts, and of his feelings toward slavery. Huck's beliefs in issues that society condoned isolated him from the "normal" state of living that everyone else practiced. This same view that society cast upon Huck was also thrust upon Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby . Because of his wealth and his self-removal from gossip and other immoral issues, that society thrives on, Jay too, was isolated. Maybe this state of seclusion was brought on by society but Nick Carraway demonstrated that, "Once banishment is brought on by others, it is soon picked up within." (Fitzgerald, Great; 86)

Hester Prinne also demonstrates a state of solitariness, in The Scarlet Letter. After society condemns her actions she goes into seclusion and...
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