The Psychological Effects Of Social Alienation In Literature

948 WordsOct 30, 20174 Pages
Humans are constructed from birth to become social animals, and to isolate humans from interacting with other humans, would be a devastating toll on their emotional and psychological state. Social alienation or isolation tends to impact an individual heavily, and once the damage is done it could result in various long impactful effects on them. In various pieces of literature such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or Night by Elie Wiesel, they discuss the topic of isolation in order to use it as a powerful driving force to demonstrate change in the character and actions they take to either get themselves out of that isolated situation or the way they struggle with social segregation. Outside the literary world, studies have been conducted in order to construct a better understanding of the psychological impacts of social isolation and their impacting. An article on VeryWell tells the story of Genie Wiley, a 13 year old who was locked up by her parents for a decade, ignored and left to rot. The feral child was discovered by a social worker after her mother sought out services, discovering the girl trapped in a room and reported the girl to weigh in around 59 pounds, silent, unable to chew, and moved with a strange “bunny walk”. The psychological impact left on Genie Wiley was that her intellectual capacity was only capable to that of a 1 year old after being tested on her intelligence, was only able to say “sorry”, and was only able to recognize her own name. As far as linguistics come, unfortunately for Genie she was unable to apply grammatical rules and use language in a meaningful way. Reflecting upon this, a similar character in the literary world would be the monster from Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein, thinking he can position himself in an omnipotent position like a god, created his abomination only to fear it in the end. The monstrosity would face an existential problem and self-loathing. Genie and the monster both neglected by their parent, their creator, both share a similar experience of isolation. Both had to survive on their own, relying on their own self being and as a result would be unable to fit into society since both have been isolated either from or by society itself. Genie was eventually
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