Isolation In Hills Like White Elephants And Girl

807 words - 3 pages

Isolation; the feeling of complete loneliness does not always occur when one is alone, but this desperate feeling that there is no way out can happen even if once is not physically isolated. Emotionally though, one can feel utterly alone and abandoned. Simply, what happens is that one becomes so caught up in mainstream society that they lose an ability to interact successfully with others. Eventually, they will begin to feel that they have become so insignificant that nothing the do will be able to pull themselves away from the barren abyss. More or less this is what happens for the main female characters in both Hills Like White Elephants by Earnest Hemingway, and Girl by Jamaica Kincaid. Both characters find themselves isolated as they struggle to support the social mask that acts as a double-edged sword in that it protects ones emotional well being but also isolates they wearer from those around them.
In Kincaid’s Girl, the story is how to become a proper ‘lady’ while avoiding the perilous pitfalls of a common slut. The narrator struggles to keep up to all the rules that are being recited off for her as if there were a shopping list and she soon feels trapped in this very ridged gender role. However, by taking on this generic role as a female, the narrator is also creating a new identity for herself to the extent that she will act a different way around everyone. In the lecturing of the narrator’s guide, the young girl is taught multiple ways ‘to smile to those [she] doesn’t like…those [she] doesn’t like at all… and those [she] likes completely” (Kincaid, 280). Not being able to fully express one’s individuality can lead that person to feel alone and isolated as they lose their meaning of self. Sadly, if one does not know who they are there is no possible way for them to interact with someone else on an intimate level. Once her spirit is broken there is nothing left for her to become other than “the type of women who [attracts attention]” (280), the very person she had been taught was vile and venereal. Becoming just another pretty faces effectively hides the narrator’s ability to express her inner desires, thoughts, wishes and dreams with anyone else. This entrapment of not being able to convey one’s deepest emotions is a truly terrible experience and it is...

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