Theme of Solitude
Being alone never felt right. Sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right, said Charles Bukowski (Bukowski, 2016, p.123). The human being is a social being, for that reason, it depends on others for company, support, and emotional needs. No man is an island and therefore, they always need each other for a couple of reasons, some of which may not be so obvious.
However, a wise man once said that being alone is dangerous, because once you experience the peace and serenity that comes with personal space, you might never want to interact with people again. However, the current generation has this misconception that solitude means loneliness. Though, there is some truth behind this notion, not all people who keep themselves to themselves are lonely.We live in a world where individuality is no longer valued, people seem to be so obsessed with the notion of fitting in that they no longer care to find out who they are or what they like. Their passion, desire, taste and even behavior have been dictated by the community so it is difficult to know who you are indeed. Popular culture has influenced the way people live their lives, as if there is a specific way that life should be lived (Pickering Michael J. VNV., 2010) .
Anyone who tries to be a little different is considered freak, outsider, loner, and looked down upon. Therefore, we seem to have forgotten that everyone is unique and does not follow a one-size-fits-all criterion. One of the significant factors that have led to this kind of thinking is spending too much time around people. This paper is going to expound on solitude and the issue with constant connection. Many times we have done or chosen something not because we liked it, but because our friends and those around us chose the same. A wise saying has it that you are an average of the people you spend most of your time with. Similarly, another one supports the idea by stating that if you hang around five millionaires, you will become the sixth. These two saying are trying to drive one point home, that the company you keep says a lot about you and affects you in more ways than you may think. In the present day world where people are always in groups and cliques, it is hard to understand oneself. People do not spend enough time alone and always have the urge to be around others and lead a life that the society deems acceptable. What they fail to realize is that the organization is too cheap and it is nothing but combined stereotypes that are put together to come up with average values and traits considered fashionable.
According to OHara, it is evident that he enjoyed solitude (O'Hara, 2011). OHara was presented as an outgoing, social and very friendly person. He was a public personality and was always around people. According to his contemporaries, he was compared to the glue that held together people. However, much he appreciated being social, he valued time being alone. Over the lunch hour, he would duck the company of people and sit alone in Times Square, there he would come with some nice poems that were insightful and entertaining.His poems created perfect images in the mind of the readers and are still relevant to date. The fact that OHara came with some of the best poems when he was in solitude shows that in solitude a person is most productive and creative at the same time (O'Hara, 2011).
In Alan Sillitoes The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (Sillitoe, 2016), we are introduced to Smith who is a student in a reform school for the delinquent young adults. Fate selected him to participate in long-distance running as he had spent most of his time running from the police. In this training, Smith finally gets time to be all by himself, and he discovers so many things about himself. He had a personal routine where he would cover five miles every day, and this gave him a chance for self-evaluation and revelation (Sillitoe, 2016). According to Maslow, the self-actualized individuals have a sense of personal space. They take their precious time to learn themselves and ascertain what excites them (Maslow, 1993). They have a deeper connection with their inner-self, and this respect also helps them to understand those around them and the society in general. Such people are very productive as they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses alike. They cannot be easily wounded by people pointing out their flaws as they have embraced them and known how to live with them. The society, on the other hand, is so focused on putting people down for their weaknesses. Almost everything is a competition, and this is evident in the social media. As we could see the solitude is not that bad. Sometimes people need to spend time on their own, to think the whole thing up, better understand themselves and find their place in this huge world.
BUKOWSKI, C. (2016). ESSENTIAL BUKOWSKI. [Place of publication not identified]: FOURTH ESTATE LTD.
Maslow, A. (1993). The farther reaches of human nature. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Arkana.
Pickering Michael J. VNV. (2010). Popular culture. London: Sage Publ.
O'Hara, J. (2011). A rage to live. London: Vintage Classic.
Sillitoe, A. (2016). The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner. Open Road Media.
Being a lone never felt right .sometimes it felt good,but it never felt right(Charles Bukowski) Discuss how themes of solitude are represented in the following books:
Allen Silittoe the loneliness of the long distance runner
Frank O'hara A rage to live
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