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Theme In Dystopic Stories Isolation

1780 words - 8 pages

Isolation is a negative feeling and therefore, it is a theme that is recurrently used in dystopic stories to create a negative background. Isolation can be broadly divided into three kinds: Social, Physical and Mental. Social isolation is when a person does not interact with the society for long periods of time. Physical isolation is when a person or a society is physically isolated from other people or societies. Finally, mental isolation is when the ideas or psyche of one person is radically different from that of the others in the society. The three types of isolation are used by authors for different purposes. Although isolation can be divided into three types, all types of isolation are used in dystopic stories to create negativity in the stories because the effects of isolation are typically negative.
Mental isolation was used by the authors in some of the short stories that we read, to demonstrate the difficulties one person had to face because he/she was mentally isolated from the society. A person becomes mentally isolated from the society when his/her beliefs do not agree with that of the society. The theme of mental isolation is used by the author of ‘Cassandra’ to show the difficulties that Alice has to face because she has a special ability that others in the society do not have. (Cherryh, C.J. Bedford/St. Martins. 1978) The author says that “Even her parents had not been able to bear with that - visited her only at first in the hospitals, and then only on holidays, and then not at all. She did not know where they were.” (Page 945). Crazy Alice is mentally isolated from the society because of her ability to see the future. Due to her ‘incurables illness’ or special ability, the society isolates her by not listening to her and ignoring her. Also, Alice’s family has abandoned her because of her ability to see the future. For Alice, the effects of being mentally isolated from the society are that she feels lonely and scared. When she goes to interact with people or asks them for help, they do not respond back properly because she is ‘crazy’.
The story ‘Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman’ portrays the negative effects of being mentally isolated from the society. (Ellsion, Harlan. Macmillan. 1971) In the story, the Ticktockman says, "A girl named pretty Alice told us who you were." (Page 143) Harlequin was a like a rebel because his (radical) ideas contradicted with that of the society. He was mentally isolated from the society that cared only about time and schedules constantly. There were not any people in the society who agreed with his ideals. The quote is an example of the negative consequence that Harlequin had to face because of his mental isolation. The negative effects he had to face because of being mentally isolated from the society were that he was unhappy that the people followed precise schedules, his girlfriend did not agree with him and his girlfriend betrayed him. Therefore, in the stories ‘Repent, Harlequin!...

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