Alienation Defining what alienation really is requires experiencing the feeling of it firsthand. It is the fear of being completely alone, whether in life or in a situation that nobody else understands. It’s a feeling that is impossible to fake because it is basically born from fear. Looking at the texts Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Peter Pan by J. M Barrie and Inception written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the aspects of alienation is shown through the isolation of going through different situations that no one else can truly understand.
Of Mice and Men tells a tale of two men surviving in the Great Depression. Lennie Small’s slow intelligence and George Milton’s patient nature combine as these two friends travel through California to work on a ranch so that they could achieve their own goal of one day setting up their own land to live on freely. Looking at how the other workers deal with their own personal suffering and working through less than welcome encounters with Curley and his wife, the two endure the repetitive work during the day and the drama that follows after a long day at work.
The dream of one day owning their own land to run for themselves has put George and Lennie in higher hopes of ever making it out of the owned and the then crashing world. George patiently deals with protecting the mentally deficient Lennie as well as trying to gain his own liberation away from him in fear that he would have never had the chance to have a normal experience as an independent man. His caring attitude towards Lennie conveys that he cares for him like a brother would and would not let him go if even to be a man of the free world.
Even his last act of mercy towards Lennie at the end of the story expresses his concern of watching Lennie struggle on his own against in a world that is out to attack him. Lennie Small is the mentally stunted companion of George. He experiences alienation through George’s outbursts of displeasure at the acts of which Lennie does not know that he is doing wrong such as petting the dead mouse and removing the small pup from its mother. Lennie, however, does not fully understand what is right and what is wrong.
His brash actions towards the elements presented to him unknowingly caused his untimely death because of a mistake he made when he did not really know about the situation. Accidentally killing Curley’s wife made Lennie panic because he was afraid of George getting angry at him for another mistake. The fear of losing his only friend had rendered Lennie senseless to anything else around him when he chose to flee, relying on George to, once again, pull him from the hole that he had unknowing dug for himself.
Inception gives the audience the experience of travelling through a dream. Following the perspectives of each of the characters throughout the movie, it can be seen clearly that none of the characters have any real connection to one another except for the familiarity of doing the job. The art of inception incorporates delving in the mind of the subject they are after to extract information for a client. It’s basically a movie about being a spy in the war of the business world. Everyone in the movie has a separate view on how they treat the mission.
Since the baseline of the movie is about the architecture of the dreams, each of the characters bring in projections of their personality to the setting of the dream. For example, after Cobb’s wife told their lawyer that he threatened to kill her before she committed suicide, he had no choice other than to accept the job offer instead of going to jail, taking him away from his home and his children. Cobb’s guilt over the death of his wife has placed him in a very complex and difficult state as the memory and projection of his wife interferes with the job and blows the teams cover time and time again.
Keeping his wife alive inside of his head and in his own dreams has led him questioning what is real and what is only a dream. Ariadne is the newcomer in the team of extractors because she is the only one left capable of building the foundations of each dream. Studying architecture in France under Cobb’s father-in-law, Ariadne abilities are used to build “mazes” in three different layers of the dream. Because this is only her first job as an extractor she is inexperienced and doesn’t fully comprehend the dangers of the job which is not, strictly speaking, legal.
Being able to move and create freely in the dreamscape is foreign to her and even though she can pick up the movement between dreams quickly, her ignorance of how extraction works makes her feel left out of the group because everyone except her knows what to expect from such a delicate mission. Above all her presence in the mission is proven expedient as she convinces Cobb to let go of his wife so that they can finish the job without any more fatalities. Peter Pan, the story most children know and love because it is a story about a boy who never grows up.
When he finds the storyteller he had been looking for he takes her and her two brothers to a place they have only ever dreamed about, Neverland. Peter takes the Darling children on an adventure in a renegade against pirates, befriending the locals and learning how to fly by finding the joy in their adventures. Captain Hook is the antagonist of the story as he unsuccessfully tries to get revenge for his hand by trying to kill Peter Pan and finding his secret hide-out time and time again.
Because Peter had cut off his hand and fed it to a crocodile, he has been hunted by the beast since then, starving for the rest of him. In other versions of the story it is said that Peter Pan and Captain Hook were once friends which would explain the velocity of Hook’s anger towards Peter. Even though Hook could count the boson Smee as a companion he wouldn’t because of the sheer annoyance that Smee carries around with him. Hook conveys his loneliness several times throughout the novel and uses it to convince Wendy to switch to his side so as to catch Peter once and for all.
Unfortunately, Hook’s brashness takes a hold of what he is trying to accomplish and eventually leads to his demise as he let his emotions take over him when he finally had Peter in his clutches. Wendy is a character who basically has to learn the importance of the situation for herself when taken to Neverland. She has the connection with Peter of not wanting to grow up but also willingly keeps the memories of the parents that she chose to leave.
As her acquaintance with Peter grows her emotions get the better of her when she is disappointed in how Peter acts towards her, causing her to unknowingly work with Hook to find the secret hide-out underground. As Wendy makes up for her mistakes she realises that she is the only one who sees the importance of growing up, therefore tearing her brothers and the Lost Boys from a world they know and love so that they can grow up and find new adventures. The story ends with Peter returning for Wendy but finds her grown up and so instead, takes her daughter as a replacement for the friend that he had lost.
What each of these texts conveys is that it’s so difficult to try to be a part of everyone else and deal with your own problems at the same time. The connection between each of the chosen texts is that it is so hard to follow your own dreams and what you want to do without having the world stare down at you because they are pretty sure that you will fail. Each of the stories is about ignoring how everyone else looks at the world and following their own path because at the end of the day, no one else matters when it comes to their dreams.