By Harold Bloom, Blake Hobby
From a reader:
"A Harold Bloom compilation of articles at the subject matter of "alienation" in significant literature. Reviewed works contain writing through 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 topics on alienation.
Read or Download Alienation (Bloom's Literary Themes) PDF
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Extra info for Alienation (Bloom's Literary Themes)
Brave New World demonstrates that the philosophy of the greatest happiness for the greatest number may not lead to happiness at all. . ” (180-1). This was prescient for 1932, before consumer society rebounded from the deprivations of World War II and before the rise of psychiatric drugs to treat depression, anxiety, alienation, and other threats to mental well-being. Brave New World 33 Huxley’s ideas about alienation are radical twists on Marxist and Freudian notions. The word alien dates to Old French, with the first recorded use in English in 1340, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
For certainly, in the historical sense, Wright is no exception. Born on a Mississippi plantation, he was subjected to all those blasting pressures which, in a scant eighty years, have sent the Negro people hurtling, without clearly defined trajectory, from slavery to emancipation, from log cabin to city tenement, from the white folks’ fields and kitchens to factory assembly lines; and which, between two wars, have shattered the wholeness of its folk consciousness into a thousand writhing pieces.
The Bell Jar, particularly if we divorce it from our knowledge of Plath’s suicide, aligns itself with the more hopeful of these analogous texts. Like the stories spun by Ishmael, Huck, and the Invisible Man, her tale suggests her enduring position on the social margins (her identification with orphans, minorities, and children taking baby steps). Yet her marginality is precisely what gives her insight into the condition of others—all those who sit “under bell jars of a sort” (238). Like the Invisible Man, Esther tries to speak “on the lower frequencies” for us (Ellison 581).