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Alienation

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Submitted By jesuslove
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The Hidden Parts Everything is hidden. One watches the movies, reads the literature and even looks at the arts but does not really look at the true meaning behind all of this. The hidden theme. Alienation. “It is used to refer both to a personal psychological state and to a type of social relationship” (Kalekin, 1) Many may have heard of Marx theory. Karl Marx, a well known philosopher in the twentieth century went and pursued his calling. “[His] works inspired the foundation of many communist regimes” (“Karl”, 1). Istvan Meszaros clearly states Marx theory on the origination of alienation in a way that no man can ever forget. “It must be made equally clear, however, that such influences are exercised in the dialectical sense of ‘“continuity in discontinuity”’ (Meszaros, 1). There is very much “continuity in discontinuity” in literature, media, and the arts of today.
In Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein, the hideous ‘monster’ that was created by Victor Frankenstein was frowned upon, fled from, and even abandoned by his own creator. This shows the inhumanity that society shows towards those who are different. “There was none among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies?” (Shelley, 115) The creature had merely a different look, but his emotions and desires were no different than any other human: love, companionship, and a sense of belonging. Many cast him away because his looks rang out evil. "I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create” (Shelley, 35).
The theme that rings throughout the novel is alienation. Outward appearance played a crucial role in the separation of the creature from society. The quick judgment of others prevented the creature from having any contact with humans. The creature’s despair was intensified by the fact that he was abandoned by his own father, not only from society but from his family.
Another piece of literature that has the recurring theme of alienation is the novel The Metamorphosis written by the famous Frankz Kafka. The German word Kafka means transformation or change. This happens all throughout the novel. Gregor Samsa and the author, Frankz Kafka had a lot in common. What most readers do not find is that Kafka wrote the book based on his feelings of alienation and made it a theme throughout The Metamorphosis.
Kafka’s un attachment to many of his workers around him did not go unnoticed. Kafka was a German speaking Jew, and unfortunately Jews were abused and inflicted upon. He was alienated from his surroundings much like Gregor Samsa was alienated from the world that he knew but not necessarily loved. “His room, a regular human room, only a little on the small side, lay quiet between the four familiar walls” (Kafka, 12)
"He watched as it slowly began to get light everywhere outside the window too. Then, without his willing it, his head sank down completely, and his last breath flowed weakly from his nostrils” (Kafka, 29). At Gregor’s ‘death bed’ he realizes that he is rejected by his one and only loving sister, he is isolated from his family and soon realizes that his electiveness to society is starting to diminish.
“Beyond even the twisted notions of love… almost every protagonist suffer[s] from a severe case of alienation at the beginning of the film” (“Disney”, 1). Alienation is a recurring theme that unites all the Disney movies that children have grown up watching. From Beauty and the Beast to the well known princess, Cinderella, alienation is the theme that portrays their beginning stages of life.
From the romantic story of Beauty and the Beast, one can easily see the inner most story that is told. The tragic story of the beast is shown at the beginning. The darkness. The dismay. The loneliness. This helps the audience see past love and look into the world of pure hatred and complete alienation.
Beast was frowned upon by the most beautiful and enchanting goddess because his heart was unclean, not kind. She turned him into a beast, and well, as anyone knows, he became hostile due to his alienated surroundings.
On the contrary, however, Cinderella was born into one of the most respected of families. Tragedy struck at her young age. Her mother died, presumably at childbirth, and her father passed as well, but only after marrying a woman by the name of Lady Tremaine. Cinderella’s stepmother also came with two other, not-so-bundles of joys. After her father passed away, Cinderella’s new stepmother subjected her to harsh labor and alienated her from the rest of the world. Cinderella was hated because of her glorious beauty and spat on because of her many and marvelous talents. Although she was locked up and “made a servant in her own home” (Cinderella), she thought positively through her gruesome alienation. Alienation can also be portrayed in a work of art. The Scream is a very familiar painting in this day and age. It was created by the one and only, Edvard Munch. This painting simply shows a man full of terror and agony looking toward the blood red sky. He is alienated. He is alone, with no help on his left or right. Edvard Munch has painted many different painting of The Scream. A brilliant scholar, Robert Rosenblum, suggests a very thoughtful reason why Edvard Munch picked such a creature. Rosenblum view was that the screaming, agonizing person was indeed a mummy. A mummy in desperate need. What he needs, no one knows. But his alienation speaks wonders. Be it through literature from ages ago, media from today, or in a painting drawn two centuries ago, one can see the recurring theme of alienation. One person, beast, creature, mummy, or even a princess is isolated from the rest of the world and from the rest of their society.

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