The Use of Lonliness in Literary Works

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CatVamshi 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...
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