Vamshi Adimulam10/4/12 Critical Lens EssayPeriod 1 Popular to Loser, loneliness will creep into your life at some point in your life. As Carson McCullers says, “All people are lonely. Our literature is stamped with a quality of longing and unrest”. Loneliness is in reality and the very literature we study about. Even loneliness cannot slip away in stories like other characteristics of reality such as beauty and intelligence. Loneliness is a quality everyone can understand and relate to. Pieces of literature such as The Catcher In the Rye, written by J.
D. Salinger, and Heart is a Lonely Hunter, written by Carson McCullers, both exhibit loneliness as key aspects in their works. In the novel, The Catcher In the Rye, Holden Caulfield does not know how to treat women which partially explains why he is lonesome. For example, an ironic action Holden commits is he requests Sally Hayes to go on a date with him, but by the end of the date he says, “‘C’mon, let’s get outa here,’ I said. ‘You give me a royal pain in the ass, if you want to know the truth’” (Salinger 133).
After inviting her to the date, he ends up calling her a pain in the ass. No matter how angry or disappointed a man is, he shouldn’t insult a girl, especially whom who take on a date. It is apparent to the reader that Holden cannot hold his temper and spits out harsh words to people. This particular example is one out of the many actions Holden commits that will further prolong his loneliness. In addition to his childish actions toward women, Holden also doesn’t know how to present himself to new people, men and women. “‘ Well, you know the ducks that swim around in it?
In the springtime and all? Do you happen to know where they go in the wintertime, by any chance? ’(Salinger 81). This quote is the question, Holden asks the taxi driver when going to a bar. He annoys the taxi driver with fruitless questions about the ducks. Upon reaching their destination, Holden audaciously asks the taxi driver, “‘Would you care to stop off and have a drink with me somewhere? ’(Salinger 83). Holden presented himself as an obnoxious individual to the driver and then asked if he would like to have a drink.
Not many people would want to spend their night with obnoxious people, particularly people whom you just met. Both Holden’s ironic action and unappealing character trait lead Holden to become lonely and desperate for companionship. The quote, “All people are lonely. Our literature is stamped with a quality of longing and unrest,” reflects Holden perfectly. To further clarify, in Heart is a Lonely Hunter, all the characters are essentially lonely. Two particular characters that display their loneliness were John Singer and Mick (Margaret). After Mr.
Antonapoulos, John Singer’s deaf mute friend, is sent to the mental hospital, John desperately longs for companionship. As a result, he becomes acquainted with the Blount, Mick, and Doctor Copeland. Because John Singer is a deaf mute, communication problems are an obstacle John has to endure with. Also, entertainment between John and anyone is very limited. These obstacles all drift John from truly becoming close friends with any “regular” people. His true companion and friend is Mr. Antonapoulos, whom John is still emotionally connected with.
John is grief-stricken and soon after commits suicide after learning about Mr. Antonapoulos death. Because of John’s physical disability, it isolated him from “normal” society. Next, the other character in Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Mick, also displays loneliness is a part of humanity. Mick feels that she is isolated from her peers and parents. During her party, her brother sabotages her party by setting off firecrackers outside the house. Ironically, all of her friends leave the house and go outside to set off more firecrackers. At that moment, Mick realizes all of her peers are childish compared to her.
Likewise, Mick’s parents do not understand Mick’s ambition to play music, particularly the piano. Both her family life and social life could not understand Mick and her ideology. Because of this, Mick feels isolated from society and lonely at heart. Holden, John, and Mick were all essentially lonely and all validate Carson McCullers’s quote, “All people are lonely. Our literature is stamped with a quality of longing and unrest. ” Without a doubt, these two pieces of literature, The Catcher and The Rye and Heart Is a Lonely Hunter both verify loneliness is a quality all people hare. Holden Caulfield is lonely through his ironic behavior and unappealing character trait. In contrast, John Singer’s physical disability drives him away from society and into his own world. Likewise, Mick’s peer’s immaturity and lack of parent understanding set up a lonely lifestyle for Mick. All three characters share the quality of loneliness and the longing for acceptance.
Citations Salinger, J. D. The Catcher In the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print McCullers, Carson. Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Movie