Loneliness Essay, Research Paper
There is another disease reeking havoc on men and women all across the globe, and there’s no vaccination and no cure to prevent it or completely eradicate it. This disease is called loneliness. Loneliness is the state of being unaccompanied or without friends. So what can we do to diminish the feelings of loneliness, and what are the consequences it can have on a person’s life? The answer to the deterrence of loneliness and the consequences it results in is revealed in the final actions of the characters in Carson McCuller’s, “The Haunted Boy,” Sara Teasdale’s “The Solitary,” and Robert Frost’s, “Death of the Hired Man.”
In the story “The Haunted Boy,” by Carson McCullers, a boy’s yearning for his mother causes him to be lonely and emotionally disturbed. Hugh’s mother attempted suicide, and he was so upset that he secluded himself from fall of his close friends. He allows no one to get close to him. A few months after the attempted suicide Hugh, “somehow cut myself off from people.” (McCullers 622). Hugh was so scared to get close to anyone because of fear that something like this would happen again, that it caused him to not have many friends, if in fact he did have any. Also, his friend John tries to leave his house one afternoon and John desperately tries to keep him there by offering John another piece of pie. Finally John tells Hugh that he, “was obligated to sell those tickets.” (McCullers 622). Hugh is abandoned inside the house by himself terrified to look for his mother because he may find her dead again. So he watches as John, “closed the front door behind him, and he was alone.” (McCullers 622). Hugh is unoccupied because John has left and Hugh has nothing to do but search for his mother. He sees a vision of that terrible afternoon where he finds his mother lying on the bathroom floor with her wrists cut and runs in his room. In Hugh’s case the “consequences of a broken trust may be violent enough to change the personality of that character.” (Gossett 331). It in the end did change his over all character to a lonely boy. This is not the only consequence of loneliness.
Another example of loneliness is portrayed in Sara Teasdale’s, “The Solitary.” The poem is basically about Sara explaining how she is better of by herself and how she does not need anyone. She also says that, “If I have myself and the drive of my will,” (Teasdale 453). that she is better off. So she is stating that she only needs her creativity and her mind to keep her company. The way Sara wrote her poem makes the reader view her as a loner. She has no loved ones, well, they care about her, she doesn’t care anything about them. In her words, “let them think I love them more than I do.” (Teasdale 453). So she has a bitter heart toward her loved ones. They can think whatever they want about her. However, Sara does not concern herself with what anyone thinks because she is content with herself and the way she is. She feels self complete, “as a flower or a stone.” (Teasdale 453). She obviously feels good about herself, as does nature. But Sara always “went serenely down her own path, marching to the beat of a different drum.” (Sprague 99-100). Just because some consequences are bad, does not mean that they all are. In Sara’s case, it caused her to become a great poet.
Finally, the consequence that loneliness can cause are also present in Robert Frost’s, “Death of the Hired Man.” The hired man in this poem is a silent lonely guy that comes home to die because he has no friends or no family. One day his family is talking about him and a woman asks what good he is and, “who else will harbor him?” (Frost 569). The hired man is such a loner, that he has no where else to go so the guy that the woman is talking to calmly replies, “I shouldn’t mind him bettering himself.” (Frost 570). All this time the man is standing in the corner and he kind of looks over at them to see why they are being so secretive and the woman tells the men to be quiet because, “he’ll hear you.” (Frost 570). So the people mock him and talk about him until he dies, and when they find out that he dies, the show pity and shame because he is dead and all he had were people talking about them. They are shamed because he actually came all the way from home to die with his family who mocks and ridicules him and they pity him because he has no one else to turn to except his family who obviously does not care about him. The final consequence is pity and shame. Not self pity, but pity from others around the lonely person. Which are people that feel sorry for that person because they are just a little bit eccentric, or different from the rest. Pity and shame that Frost experiences when “no one was at the port to meet Frost and his family after their trip.” (Thompson XI). Frost’s consequence of loneliness caused him to rise above the rest of the ordinary world of plain and boorish people to become this great poet and brilliant writer of our time.
All the authors tie loneliness into their poems by personal experiences or feelings they had at that time. In Carson’s place, something happened to her family that caused her to feel the state depicted in, “The Haunted Boy.” With Sara, loneliness was at her advantage and aided in her writing many poems like, “The Solitary.” Robert’s experiences give him just enough drive and will power to prove that being different from everyone else is not necessarily a bad thing. How else could he have created such beautiful pieces like, “Death of the Hired Man.” Which when read makes people think twice at disrespecting and sniping behind someone else’s back. The consequences of loneliness aren’t a bad thing if that lonely one has the drive to rise above those that make fun or fail to get along with him or her. Is loneliness a problem, yes, disease, maybe, but one thing is for sure, and that is no one can ever tell if they will be beleaguered or blessed with such a diverse illness as loneliness.
Cox, James. “Robert Frost.” A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1962.
Frost, Robert. “Death of the Hired Man.” Elements of Literature. Albany, New York: Scott Foresman and Company, 1999.
Gravier, Lawrence. Carson McCullers. New York: Ungar, 1975.
Gossett, Louis. Short Story Criticism. Ed. Thomas Votteler. Detroit : Gale Research Inc., 1992.
McCullers, Carson. “The Haunted Boy.” Short Story. Glenview, Illinois: Scott Foresman and Company, 1979.
Sprague, Rosemary. “Sara Teasdale.” Imaginary Gardens. Philadelphia: Chilton Book Company, 1969.
Teasdale, Sara. “The Solitary.” Short Story. Glenview, Illinois: Scott Foresman and Company, 1979.
Thompson, Lawrance. Robert Frost. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1959.