The Bond of Isolation

The Bond of Isolation - The Bond of Isolation Drawn...

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The Bond of Isolation Drawn together by the theme of isolation, three classics; Emma by Jane Austen, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok, present unique versions of the rights of passage associated with coming of age. Characterization, conflict and journey allegory will help us to navigate through the protagonist's individual journeys and clarify how three vastly different lives and circumstances can be held together by one common bond: Isolation. Emma tells the story of a wealthy, young, and somewhat narcissistic girl whose life revolves around her widowed father and her friend and protégé, Harriet Smith. While Emma plays matchmaker for her many of her friends, she isn't overly interested in marriage herself. After all, she comes from wealth and status, so she doesn't need to marry in order to attain either one. Her pursuits take us on a journey of self- discovery and allow us to share her experiences of coming of age. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn brings to life the story of Huck, a young boy whose journey of self actualization involves a friend, Jim, who is a runaway slave. The two take us on numerous adventures involving, dangers, cons, escapes, death and survival. Determined to live a life that suits him, Huck refuses to assimilate to the world of privilege afforded to him through adoption, and longs for the simpler way of life he'd grown accustomed to. My Name is Asher Lev tells the story of a young artist, Asher Lev, whose religious upbringing conflicts with his growing passion for art. Hasidic Judaism taught that art is the devil's work, but Asher Lev's love for artistic expression led him to ignore those teachings to pursue his dreams of being an artist. Conflicted by his father's disdain for art and his mother's support of his art, Asher Lev faces many challenges during his journey towards self realization. The journey allegory is a significant literary theme which involves understanding how one's physical journey aligns with and illuminates the development of the psychological journey; thus leading each character to self-awareness. Emma, Asher and Huck each travel a challenging road to maturity, which is depicted in physical and psychological forms. Their physical journeys share insight into the metaphoric application of each protagonist's psychological and spiritual passage towards self-awareness; which is observably part of their process of coming of age. Twain's hero, Huck, begins his physical journey by escaping from his drunken father and floating down the Mississippi River, with his friend, a runaway slave, named Jim. Throughout this expedition, Huck experiences many injustices which formulate his ideas concerning the "civilized" society he currently
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lives in and is trying to run from. His experiences with slavery provided opportunities for him to decide for himself what was right or wrong. While deeply entrenched in the "Jim Crow South", Huck was faced with the dilemma of doing what was right according to society and religion; or doing what was in his
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The Bond of Isolation - The Bond of Isolation Drawn...

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