By Harold Bloom, Blake Hobby
From a reader:
"A Harold Bloom compilation of articles at the topic of "alienation" in significant literature. Reviewed works comprise writing by way of Melville, Plath, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Huxley, Salinger, Potok, Joyce, Bradbury, Goethe, Homer, Woolf, Dostoevsky, Ken Kesey, RL Stevenson, Camus, Kafka, Samuel Beckett, TS Eliot, & Hawthorne."
Not loads a "reviewing" of works, yet a compilation of intersecting subject matters on alienation.
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Extra resources for Alienation (Bloom's Literary Themes)
As Esther recovers from her paralyzing depression, the bell jar lifts. As she regains access to “the circulating air” (215), the alienated imagery of her narrative yields to a more humanized imagery, in which self and other achieve a reciprocal—rather than hostile—relationship. Expressions of affection appear for the first time: “I liked Dr. Nolan, I loved her” (211). Images of freedom and autonomy appear as well: “I am climbing to freedom, freedom from fear, freedom from marrying the wrong person” (223).
Holden seems fundamentally frustrated and unhappy with his life and most of the people around him. Most of those people, in turn, appear to exist—at least as they are perceived and described by Holden—in shallow, unfulfilling, and insubstantial relationships, not only with Holden but also with one another. ” Salinger stresses Holden’s own sense of alienation. As the novel opens, Holden is expelled from the latest in a series of prep schools. D. Salinger Unable to summon any enthusiasm for his studies or to build real friendships with his schoolmates, he looks on the world with premature cynicism and jaded contempt, and yet at some level he also hungers for a deeper, richer, more fulfilling existence.
Holden Caulfield, the novel’s adolescent central character, seems alienated from most of his teachers and schoolmates, much of his family, and much of society at large. Although he interacts with numerous people during the three days the novel depicts, he remains fundamentally withdrawn and isolated; he is estranged and distant from others and even, to some degree, from himself. He has no real or deep friendships; most of his interactions are superficial, and many of his relationships are insincere.