Loneliness is usually a common and unharmful feeling, however, when a child is isolated his whole life, loneliness can have a much more morbid effect. This theme, prevalent throughout Ron Rash’s short story, The Ascent, is demonstrated through Jared, a young boy who is neglected by his parents. In the story, Jared escapes his miserable home life to a plane wreck he discovers while roaming the wilderness. Through the use of detached imagery and the emotional characterization of Jared as self-isolating, Rash argues that escaping too far from reality can be very harmful to the stability of one’s emotional being.
The isolated and desolate imagery throughout effectively conveys Jared’s extreme detachment from his surroundings. When…show more content… While imagination is necessary in order to develop creativity and growth, too much escapism can blur one’s perception between reality and make-believe, and arguably more important, between right and wrong. After discovering a missing plane, most would report it to the authorities and not be in close proximity to dead people for hours on end. Instead, Jared uses the plane as a place to escape from the reality of his isolation, which is clearly a very disturbing and unethical action. Rash uses these images of isolation and character development to demonstrate that emotional instability is a potential danger of escapism.
Furthermore, Rash describes the emotional characterization of Jared to demonstrate the negative effect self-isolation can have on escapism. In the beginning of The Ascent, Jared is seen as an imaginative and innocent child, albeit a little lonely. However, the tone dramatically shifts when Jared discovers the plane wreck and “sit[s] in the back seat [for] two hours, though [to him] it seem[s] only a few minutes” (Rash 281). By finding comfort with dead people, it is clear that Jared is emotionally disturbed. He isolates himself from others by depending on his imagination to make up for his lack of company. This is further exemplified when Jared watches his parents “pas[s] the pipe back and forth… want[ing] to go back to the plane” (Rash 284). Rather than stay with his drug-abusive and neglectful parents during