Alienation is defined as the state or experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved. In the novels The Catcher in the Rye and 1984 alienation is a main theme. Catcher in the Rye and 1984 show characters who are not normal and who are different from the rest of society which results in their Alienation. Alienation is a feeling of not belonging.
One of the biggest factors that cause alienation is the need to fit in and be accepted in society.
Whether it is alienation from civilization or alienation from society, drastic changes occur; Just like in 1984 and the catcher in the rye. Both these novels show proof of how alienation can change a person and their whole life. Alienation is shown in the catcher in the rye by how Holden alienates himself from society . In 1984 Winston feels alienated because he thinks hes the only person who wants to rebel against big brother and he thinks hes the only one who can remember the past.
Both these stories shows many examples of alienation and it is what destroys the main characters in 1984 and the catcher in the rye. From the very first scene of Catcher in the Rye, when the main character Holden doesn’t go to the football game that the rest of his school is going to, it is clear that Holden doesn’t fit in and that he is alienated from the rest of society.
Throughout the novel, Holden is excluded and victimized by the world around him. As he says to Mr.
Spencer, he feels trapped on “the other side” of life, and he continually try’s to find his way in a world where he thinks he doesn’t belong. As the novel continues, we see that Holden’s alienation is his way of protecting himself. The truth is that interactions ith other people confuse and overwhelm him. Holden trys to alienate himself from all the “phonies” around him because he doesn’t want to turn into them. Holden’s alienation is the cause of most of his pain. “When I finally got down off the radiator and went out to the hat-check room, I was crying and all.
I don’t know why, but I was. I guess it was because I was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome” (salinger ). He desperately needs human contact and love, but his bitterness prevents him from looking for such interaction. Alienation is both the source of Holden’s strength and the source of his problems. For example, his loneliness motivates him to go on a date with Sally Hayes, but his need for isolation causes him to insult her and push her away. Holden pushes everyone he knows away because he thinks they are all Just “phonies”. The first thing I did when I got off at Penn Station, I went into this phone booth. I felt like giving somebody a buzz but as soon as I was inside, I couldn’t think of anybody to call up” (Salinger , 9) Holden has alienated himself and blocked every single one of his friends away because he thinks he is better then all of them and he gets easily annoyed with them. Alienation is an important theme of catcher in the rye and it is one of the main sources for the main characters problems.
Alienation is inescapable in a society like the one in 1984 where human bonds and human emotions have been destroyed. the main character of 1984, Winston, is alone, but he is not able to feel any real emotion. He is a stranger to his own life and his own identity. “he was alone. The past was dead, the future unimaginable” (Orwell”. In an place where all of his behaviours are controlled and where all his life is recorded , Winston Smith has troubles about trusting others. Because of this lack of rust that Winston possesses, he cannot be close to anybody and he is therefore alienated.
Every citizen of Oceania believes what Big Brother says and they are ignorant to the truth. Winston thinks hes the only person who knows the truth to what Big Brother is saying so he feels very alienated. “was he, then, ALONE in the possession of a memory'(Orwell, 75)? until Winston meets Julia, he is completely alone and he believes they’re is no one like him in his country. The novel 1984 is full of alienation and its a main theme of 1984. without alienation 1984 would be a totally different novel and Winston would be very different.