Social isolation definition
Urban isolation is a situation whereby people are forced to bear with extreme loneliness especially when they are separated from their lovers. This case has taken center stage in the famous film, ‘Before Sunset' that was shot in the year 2004. The main characters in the film are Jesse and Celine who were lovers but parted ways due to unavoidable circumstances and held on to their love for many years. In the movie, we see the two characters facing extreme cases of isolation throughout their lives and how urban isolation affects them. This analysis aims to give more explanations about urban isolation and provide illustrations of the situation from the mentioned film.
Causes and effects of social isolation
Urban isolation can be described as lack or minimum social connection between an individual and the people in the community. Lack of social connection can result in depression and lead to health deteriorating. Social connections help us to enjoy life and keep us from getting health problems associated with isolation. In the film Before Sunset 2004, there are numerous cases of urban isolation that affect both Jesse and Celine. The film contains various themes including love, reunion, romance, and sadness. In the theme of love, both Jesse and Celine get isolated after parting ways and head to different directions. This is because they cannot deal with the fact that they have to be away from each other because of the intense love that they share. They lack social connection as they cannot figure out how to cope with the situation and hope to get back together. Urban isolation is a major problem affecting many people in the world and has contributed to countless cases of depression especially among the adult population. To curb the situation, people are often advised to engage in social activities in the community and interact with others to avoid been isolated from social life. Unlike in the case of Jesse and Celine, people can overcome depression by embracing social connection and avoid been isolated from the social life.
Urban isolation prevents us from acting and think of better ways to face the numerous challenges of life. It takes away the positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being hence denying us of our personal dignity. Without social connections, we lose interest in life and disregard important cultures in the society. Our mental health depreciates and affects our thinking hence we fail to interact well with the people around us. This is evident in the mentioned film as we see how urban isolation affects Celine's life. After the separation between her and Jesse, her life turns into a nightmare as she spends many years thinking about her first love. She is married, and yet her marriage is not happy because she is isolated and fails to live in harmony with her husband. "I feel as if I am running a small kindergarten school with someone I used to date," (Ebert, 2004, p.1). She no longer has any respect left for her husband as she sees him as a kindergarten child and thinks that Jesse is way much better than the husband.
Effects of social isolation on mental health
When people lack social connections, they tend to get easily agitated by the people around them and may often disrespect them. Henceforth, this can result in awkward scenes when things get out of control. For example, when Celine compares her husband to a kindergarten kid; she demonstrates how isolation affects people’s acts and may lead to unhealthy confrontations. Both Jesse and Celine are married but have maintained constant communications over the years behind the backs of the marriage partners. Throughout the years, Jesse and Celine have managed to maintain constant communications despite been in two different regions in the world (Gilbey, 2010, p.1). This is an act that shows possible cases of depression among the two characters because they have not accepted the fact that they got separated and that things took turns against their expectations. Despite been depressed, the two are not aware of their health problems and do not seek any medical help from health professionals. They ought to have looked for help earlier before their situations escalated to greater levels.
After they coincidentally meet on a train in Paris, it is evident that they wanted to make their first impression great. Paris is mostly crowded by various couples from all parts of the globe because of its beautiful and attractive features. Thus, lovers choose it as their best destinations when they want to make wonderful memories. Clearly, this coincidence does them good as they seem to be excited about seeing each other again after many years of isolation. They walk around the city holding hands and having endless conversations. When they share their stories about things that have happened to them over the years, we see the hidden messages behind their stories. Jesse claims that he wrote a book thinking of how to find her again. Celine also tries to kiss Jesse but is shy, hence; proving that they are both in love with each other (Ebert, 2004, p.1). The fact that she shares these experiences with Jesse means that she is still attached to the love between her and Jesse and that she has been isolated for all the years they have not been together. From the two examples, we see how urban isolation can make people think of certain issues or people for extended periods and keep us from social interactions with other people.
Urban isolation can persist for long periods and negatively impact people's health and cause permanent destructions. It may lead to low self-esteem and make one confide in their shells to avoid any social interactions with other people in the community. This is mainly caused by neglect and abandonment as seen in the movie. When Jesse and Celine went different ways, they faced difficult times trying to cope with feelings of separation because of the intense love they shared. They never let go of their love despite been married to their partners for many years. They held on to their love, and this is demonstrated in the film through how they act after meeting on the train. We see Celine trying to kiss Jesse, but she is still shy. However, later on; that day we see them making out and acting against the provisions of marriage laws. They cheat on their partners by engaging in sexual activities.
Psychological effects of loneliness
Urban isolation can be a dangerous ordeal if not curbed at an early stage. This is because the affected parties tend to feel superior and lack interest in keeping relationships for long. For instance, we see Celine’s ego when she describes her husband as a child knowing that she is supposed to respect him and recognize him as the head of her marriage. Isolation can make people loose friends because the affected persons irritate others without knowing, hence; losing many friends unawares. This is evident in Celine’s case as we see her husband’s sudden change in behaviors towards her. Celine's marriage is unstable, and her husband does not spend enough time with her as he used to do when their marriage was young. Loneliness is taking the better part of her life, and the situation is becoming unbearable for her. When Jesse prepares to travel back to the US and reunite with his wife and son, Celine is left with a sad face as she remembers her situation. She is forced to live with the pain of loneliness as they head back to their homes where they live with their marriage partners.
Urban isolation is a situation whereby people are forced to bear with extreme loneliness especially when they are separated from their lovers. This situation has taken center stage in the famous film, ‘Before Sunset 2004’. Urban isolation can be described as lack or minimum social connection between an individual and the people in the community and can result in depression and other health problems. It prevents us from acting and think of better ways to face the numerous challenges of life. It takes away the positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being hence denying us of our personal dignity. When people lack social connections, they tend to get easily agitated by the people around them and may often disrespect them. Urban isolation can persist for long periods and negatively impact people's health and cause permanent destructions. It may lead to low self-esteem and make one confide in their shells to avoid any social interaction with other individuals in the community.
Ebert, R. (2004, July 2). Before Sunset 2004. Robert Ebert Journal, 1.
Gilbey, R. (2010, October 16). Before Sunset: the best romantic film of all time. The Guardian, 1.
Mennel, B. (2008). Cities and Cinema. Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group), 1-245.
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