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An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

By Cooper Sarafin, VI Form

An Analysis of Alienation: The Natural Estrangement of the Individual

Total Estrangement

Alienation is a natural state of human beings. We are set in an environment that leaves us with a sense of inadequacy and ineptitude and no matter what extent to which we alter our facades and wear a mask of falsity; we will never be able to cross the glass ceiling that is our expectations. From the very moment we are conceived, we are being classified and divided among throngs of opinions, preferences, and expectations. We are expected to live up to this normality of society, the ever prevalent quest to “fit in”. To be amidst the general populace and succeed in a manner relative to the ideas of said society and government that preside over our specific demographic. We are expected to succeed in the realm of capitalism and to move further up this hierarchy and supersede the ranks of the proletariat in turn for the bourgeoisie. We are expected to develop social relationships with everyone we meet and to be liked by them. We are expected to achieve great things and to do what has never been done before. In the aftermath of all this expectation, what is left for us to expect for ourselves other than that which has been told to us? In that we are governed by these expectations, the primordial source of our alienation is the self. As we garner these expectations as our own, the ever present alienation lies amidst it. This leaves us with the omnipresent feeling of being a singular entity on the outskirts of the greater whole, to quote the song Hated by Beartooth[1], we are “all alone in a wall-less prison”. This encapsulates what alienation subjects the individual to bear. These invisible chains, holding us to the confines of an artificial box where we are all supposed to fit, held by those who are insecure about themselves as individuals and subscribe to this mentality and propaganda. The song goes further on to paint us as the scapegoat for the those who are insecure. Much similar to the ideas of Frantz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth, in which these people are suppressed and blamed for the wrongs of the world, described as inhuman, as the phenomenal apparition of evil, creating a dichotomy that serves to pull them further into the box.[2]

These concerns exist in the lives of everyone, in varying degrees of intensity and relevance according to our inner selves. Some people fill the mold far greater than others. You can imagine this situation as trying to fit shapes into a circle. No one is ever quite the right shape to fit in the circle, but some people are more of an oval, being relatively similar to this idealistic person. Some are squares that have no hope to even consider reaching the confines of the mold. It is a comparison of Gatsby[3] and Holden Caulfield. Gatsby has the appearance of your typical eccentric bourgeoisie while Holden doesn’t even bother to attempt to fit within the ranks of his peers. In either case, both people have become themselves through their alienation. Holden would not be so unique had he not overcome the temptation to succumb to the herd mentality and instead adopted a sense of independence and individuality that is admirable.[4] Alienation is a path through which our journey to find ourselves begins to come to fruition. By abandoning the traditional ideologies of others, we realize what we ourselves believe. We become an individual in the true sense of the word and remove ourselves from Nietzsche’s herd mentality. [5] We are then only limited by what ourselves can comprehend and devise for ourselves within the realm of our experienced reality.

On Political Alienation

Political alienation is the estrangement from your political system. Political systems govern everyday life; enact laws and rules; expectations and requirements. They are definers and creators of the theoretical box and mold of which we are meant to fit. These governing bodies don’t stop at creating the box but also seek to enforce and press upon us these realities. Frantz Fanon says “In the colonial context the settler only ends his work of breaking in the native when the latter admits loudly and intelligibly the supremacy of the white man’s values.”[6] This implies to all societies not just colonized countries. The government, made up of people who don’t experience your life, come from entirely separate backgrounds, both educationally and socio-economical, impresses upon its subjects what they have determined to be the ideal citizen. They create organizations, such as the police, and give them the jurisdiction to enforce it. This then translates to other aspects of life as more figures of importance adapt to preach these ideas to their subjects, reinforcing the idea that these things are justified and shouldn’t be questioned. Just as Meursault, from Albert Camus’s The Stranger, is preached to by the Chaplain on the need to respect God and offer him a place in your life, so as to have a place of refuge in the life beyond. Camus wrote, “The chaplain knew the game well too, I could tell right away: his gaze never faltered. And his voice didn’t falter, either, when he said, ‘Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?’ ‘Yes,’ I said.”[7] This is a society that is void of a separation of church and state, where you practice religion for the sake of practicing religion, not necessarily because you find it enjoyable, helpful, or interesting, but due to the importance placed on it in societies standards. You see this in modern religion as well. We are raised to believe what our parents believed, often being brought to church and carrying on that tradition solely because you are used to it, yet you never question your belief, or what purpose it serves for you.

In this political pressure to conform to a certain standard, society crushes the history and uniqueness of the individual, “The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.”[8] Essentially, these restrictions and limitations starve individuality of its food and supplementation, essentially killing off all that makes us unique. The beauty of the individual is lost beneath the shadow of conformity and suppressed down by our government in the hopes to quell attempts of anarchy and unrest by those who take these examples as justification for attempted coups and protests that create instability and threaten the way of life for these bourgeoisies sitting at the top of the hierarchy. Phaedrus from the book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, in the final essay of his Chautauqua, developed a deep conflict with the heads of an Aristotelian philosophy program that he held to put into question his own theory of Quality.[9] Here he was a teacher and practitioner of Rhetoric, being spooned material denouncing its prowess and lowering it below dialectic in terms of importance, to which he is deeply offended. He subtly fights back and they develop a sense of loathing towards him, and seek to diminish him, and “kill him”. But by fighting this power, rather than bowing in reverence to their “superior” way of thinking and believing, he strengthens his own point of view and validates himself, as well as showing others that they don’t need to succumb to this commonplace school of thought and people gravitated towards his class where he expounded his beliefs to others.

What about if your state of being runs counter to the law? That is the case of the subjects of Michel Foucault’s psychology essay, Madness and Civilization.[10] These subjects were the Insane, the Mad, and those who exhibited those qualities. He depicts them originally as these figures at the center of society, as an omen and truthsayer that brings upon the apocalypse wherever they are found. This led to the practice of shipping these madmen away from their lands and leaving them at the hands of the sea in its endless chaos. The view then shifts to the opinion that they are a detriment to society and must be removed from the public eye and confined. They were systematically rounded up and thrown into prisons as common criminals. Eventually, they were shown off as circus animals, a sight to see for the public, amusement for the populace, lest they become them themselves. Finally, they are denounced to the level of children, deemed unfit to handle themselves, and sentenced to be cared for and restrained by family, or else shipped to the newly formed asylums built to contain them so they don’t contaminate others. These show us vivid images, where they are depicted as an evil to be rid of, as a contagion to be quarantined, as a group of people lowered below humanity and of bestial qualities, as people unfit to govern themselves. It is an attack on the unknown, on the different. These detainments were not solely for those of violent tendencies but those who had peaceful demeanors that kept to themselves. They did not seek to prevent danger from society but merely to protect their carefully constructed way of life. Modern parallels are seen in those in minorities, with pervasive racism rampant in society, in media and other outlets. In religious freedom, with prejudice attacking Islam as a generalization rather than the specific denomination of radical Islam. In sexual orientation and identity, with homophobia and a general disdain for people to change the way of life as “God” saw it. Towards women, who are unable to be provided with medical care for pregnancies and abortions for those who don’t wish to have a child. There are others, but for the sake of being laconic and to the point, they do not need to be referenced.

On Economic Alienation

All societies classify its citizens in some form by their economic situation. In the simplest form, you can divide people into two categories of consideration, the proletariat or laborers, or the bourgeoisies, who are the capitalists who maintain most of the wealth. We see an immediate conflict with the two as the bourgeoisies feel superior to the proletariat, creating tension between the two sides. The proletariat thus doesn’t seek to be equal to the bourgeoisie but rather to take over their position on top of the hierarchy. In the play  Zoo Story, Jerry says, “I don’t know what I was thinking about; of course you don’t understand. I don’t live in your block; I’m not married with two parakeets, or whatever your setup is. I am a permanent transient, and my home is the sickening rooming-houses… on the West Side of New York City, which is the greatest city in the world. Amen.”[11] Here, he is describing the proletariat situation. The bourgeoisie doesn’t understand them yet they are the ones who govern everything, despite also being the minority. There are perpetual envy and jealousy relating to this, as well as resentment towards the ruling class who don’t work to better life for the masses but rather their own self-interests. This alienation often takes the form of violence that comes from these feelings overflowing and being transmitted into rebellions and riots in attempts to shake up the regime. Just as in Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Fight Club, that tells the story of a cultist group that starts to bring down the infrastructure of society to bring everything back to the ages before centralized government and gives control back to the masses.[12] Or in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, where Smith is forced to steal and turn to crime to be able to live decently, and during his time in prison looks up with contempt of those who were given better means of life and can’t possibly understand his struggle.[13]

The problem also stems from the aspirations of the proletariat. They are taught that they can achieve anything and told frequently that they should find good jobs and careers that provide for them, without being given the dose of reality that they may end up working some manual labor job that has minimal pay because there just isn’t enough good jobs for everyone. This functions to increase total unrest and discontent that they don’t get what they deem themselves to deserve. This leaves them with the feeling of inadequacy that they cannot live up to the idea of the “American Dream” or just the general individual want of a rewarding career.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance also makes a distinction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisies.[14] He talks about their view of the world, coining the terms classic and romantic. The classic view is that of the intellectual, who analyzes what lies behind and beneath something, whereas the romantic, or your typical person, only views that which is on the surface. This creates a dichotomy in perspectives and how they view the world and keeps them at a bay of the other for they will never be of a similar nature.

On Social Alienation

The alienation of society is large and vast in its diversity. In the simplest of terms, we wish to be something we are not by hoping to become like these ideals that have been doctored to make us want it more. In Fight Club,  you see the difference through their appearance, much like in Shakespeare’s Othello, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5. The men of Fight Club have images described of gruesome injuries and scars from their fights, serving as a visual reminded of their difference from those around them, and a reason for the looks people give them.[15] In Othello, Othello is a Moor, which in the classical period was a serious detriment, and to have one be a successful naval captain, was considered impossible.[16] Billy Pilgrim of Slaughterhouse 5 was a man of frail stature unfit to be a “real” soldier as compared to the others.[17] The Germans even notice it and give him a woman’s coat to mock him for it. We see parallels in fat shaming and these obsessive fans geared to people with the ideal body type that lowers the self-confidence of everyone who doesn’t meet those standards. This “Gymtimidation” attitude, that makes those in better condition superior and of a higher echelon than those who aren’t, who are idolized by the media and ourselves because of it.

There is also alienation due to the way people think and interpret information. In The Stranger, Meursault isn’t affected by the death of his mother, doesn’t express love to Marie, doesn’t conform to religion, and only does what he deems interesting.[18] Billy Lynn of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, is haunted by his military altered senses, seeing threats and flashbacks through triggers the regular populace don’t have.[19] The Mad of Madness and Civilization, live in their own reality that they believe to be the truth.[20] Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye, is estranged and expelled from a multitude of boarding schools for his unique and divisive personality, that he uses to ostracize himself further from others around him as well.[21] Achilles chooses to be a mortal and attain glory rather than live as a God.[22] Modern day eccentrics and otherwise strange individuals are mocked and spoken down to. Society promotes a uniformity that transcends appearance and worms it’s way into the confines of our psyche. Not content to control how we project ourselves, but also how we think of ideas and the world around us. We are taught things one way, and those who don’t work the same way are left behind, trying to climb a tree they don’t have the limbs to scale, as in the old adage,  if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. Schools promote those of these ideal minds, the extroverts who talk for the sake of talking, and say what they think the teachers and people want to hear.

Perhaps the most poignant and hurtful of society’s alienation is the alienation of relationships. King Lear is pushed away by his daughters who only seek to gain his kingdom.[23] Hamlet has no time to mourn for his father due to his mother’s quick remarriage, or the strain he puts on his love of Ophelia that ultimately leads her to madness when he places revenge over that love. Or how his friends spy on him for the king and queen rather than support their friend.[24] Jerry and Peter of Zoo Story, when Jerry develops this repartee with Peter, only to manipulate him into killing himself.[25] Chris and Phaedrus from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, as they travel around the country, and the tension created by Chris wanting the father that he once had but no longer does.[26] These places that are supposed to be a refuge from the difficulties and the horrors of the world, become fuel to the fire that has the power to ultimately throw you over the edge as it cuts the deepest. In a society that has grown increasingly apart from the close relationships of the past, to a world of hookup and texting culture that makes it difficult to develop lasting connections with people. People increasingly lose the skills that once were omniscient and everyone had because it was necessary to. These facts increase the pervasiveness of loneliness and sense of being alone that alienation creates.

On World Alienation

Albert Camus preached his idea of the absurd. The absurd is the divorce between the wants of man and the world that can’t provide them. He preaches that the world has no purpose and there is nothing for us to hope for in life. We all hope for a lot of things, our expectations have been built up around us so that we don’t hope to get something but believe that it can be assured if you want it enough. But what happens when you have nothing left, or when you don’t get something? This is the feeling that he characterizes as despair. This is the point where people choose whether they wish to live in a world with nothing to offer other than life, or to commit suicide and forfeit this world. He says the only sin of living this absurd life is suicide, as all we have is our life and that while it is hard, this alienation is what makes it worthwhile. For in the realization that you can have nothing better than you can be liberated and find joy in what you do. That’s where he gets the namesake for his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, The myth tells of a man sentenced to forever roll a boulder up a mountain that will always roll back down the mountain. Since the punishment, is eternal, we can’t see him as anything but happy, enjoying whatever else is around him, as well as that downward trod, free of the weight of the rock where he is given a chance to appreciate what he has.[27]

On Self-Alienation

The culmination of all other forms of Alienation is the alienation of ourselves. Through the process of being alienated in other forms, we ourselves inherit the sense of being different and foster this idea to it’s fullest extent telling ourselves we don’t belong with the others. We see the absurd men in The Myth of Sisyphus, such as Don Juan, who is unable to love because he believes himself alienated and unlovable. Of Meursault, who distinctly refers to himself as outside the others and as not understanding the decisions, actions, and reasonings of others. Billy Pilgrim as he talks about Aliens and time as a dimension and treats others as if they aren’t privileged to knowledge only he has.[28] The Narrator of  Fight Club, who suffers from an alternate personality who he wishes to be and develops an internal conflict with that personality.[29] Estragon and Vladimir of Waiting for Godot, who have to wait for Godot and discuss their poverty and fights with others and their desire to hang themselves as they wait.[30] Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, who are sent to their deaths, by the people they pledged their service to, and have nothing better to do than debate it themselves.[31] Bartleby, of Bartleby the Scrivener, only does what he “prefers”, refusing to work, to eat, or to leave his building of former employment.[32] Neo from The Matrix, who needs to prove to himself that he is, in fact, the one, who has to save the world.[33] It is doubt and fear of failure and not being accepted that drives us to it. It is also the hardest to escape from for we can block out a lot of senses and visions, but not our own thoughts, they are forever with us.


We need to stop seeing alienation as a curse that is placed upon us. We need to allow it to fuel us in our pursuit of finding who we are. We can not live hiding behind masks and words that aren’t our own. We need to seek the liberation that only we can provide for ourselves through the path laid out for us by these methods meant to contain us to them.








[1] “Hated.” On Aggressive. compact disc. The writer of the song, Caleb Shomo, of Beartooth, describes the song as promoting individuality in the face of opposition and not defining ourselves by the opinions of others.

[2] Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. N.p.: Grove Press, 1963. In his opening section of the book, On Violence, Fanon tells us of the conditions that drive us to violence in the master slave dynamic, and the methods the oppressors use to demean those who they rule and pit them against themselves.

[3] Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. N.p.: Scribner, 1925. Gatsby is a self made millionaire, trying to give the appearance of status to win back the woman he loves who is married to a man of old money, thus confusing Gatsby into altering himself for her.

[4] Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. N.p.: Little, Brown, and Company, 1951.

[5] Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. N.p.: Penguin Books, 1973. Nietzsche commonly describes the Herd as a group of mediocre and inferior masses, that lack any sense of individuality. He follows with an argument for the Herd Mentality that articulates a democratic will that seeks to confine everyone in equal mediocrity.

[6] Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. N.p.: Grove Press, 1963. The quote depicts the idea that those who seek to confine us won’t stop until you have physically demonstrated that you deem yourself inferior, rather than settling for quiet contempt that would lead to a less hostile outcome.

[7] Camus, Albert.The Stranger. N.p.: Librairie Gallimard, 1942. Meursault doesn’t feel the need to commit to a religion to save himself from the afterlife, due to his belief in nothing meaning more than any other and that death is just his final sentence.

[8] Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. N.p.: Grove Press, 1963. The settler is an outsider, who has taken land that had not belonged to him, and presumes to write it’s history in terms of his own nation, instead of those who are actually from there, deriving the nation of it’s ability to pass on what makes it unique, but is rather lumped in with this conquering nation.

[9] Pirsig, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. N.p.: William Morrow and Company, 1974. Quality, according to Pirsig, is an undefinable, due to it being a perceptual experience, truth to life. He believes it is the fundamental force governing the world and everything is a product and result of this Quality.

[10] Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization. N.p.: Libraire Plon, 1961. The public opinion of these Madmen, beginning as these bearers of ultimate truth, leading to the ultimate belief of their inability to function as their own entity in the eyes of the state, shows us the foolishness and fear the masses have for those who differ from themselves.

[11] Albee, Edward. Zoo Story. London, NY: Samuel French, 1959. The plot of this play is this conversation between two men, where one, Jerry, is attempting to get Peter to kill him. In doing so, he pulls at the guilt and anger that Peter feels toward his life that is so seemingly perfect, especially compared to Jerry’s, that stems from the lacking of peace he was supposed to gain from it.

[12] Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. N.p.: W. W. Norton and Company, 1996. The narrator, is unhappy with his desk job, and in seeking freedom from the system, develops a fight club, and later on a cult, meant to bring about the apocalypse upon humanity to return the earth back to the hunter gatherer era that his alter ego Tyler pictures as a utopian world as opposed to this one.

[13] Sillitoe, Alan. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. N.p.: Virgin Books,  1959. Smith talks of living without the basic necessities we take for granted, good clothing, decent living, and a proper education. And he looks down upon the warden who he sees as of this higher echelon that is so caught up in intellectualism that they lose track of what is really important.

[14] Pirsig, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. N.p.: William Morrow and Company, 1974. This division of Classical and Romantic perception, divides society by those of superior mental capacity, capable of seeing the meaning beneath something, and those of a simpler nature, that only see it as it is. As the typical rulers would be classified as classical minded, the romantics are underrepresented in politics and don’t fully understand the decisions of these people.

[15] Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. N.p.: W. W. Norton and Company, 1996. The members of fight club consistently were described as having ugly wounds and gashes, The narrator having a distinctive hole in his cheek, which symbolized their dichotomy with the general populace.

[16] Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. N.p.: Thomas Walkley, 1622.

[17] Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse 5. N.p.: Delacorte, 1969. Billy was on a mission stuck behind enemy lines, with three other men, who looked at him with contempt for being unfit, a disgrace and insult to them having to fight alongside him, as well as wait for him to keep up with them on their trek back to camp.

[18] Camus, Albert.The Stranger. N.p.: Librairie Gallimard, 1942. Meursault doesn’t apply the same significance to familial and romantic connection, concerning himself more with his interest in said person.

[19] Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. N.p.: Ecco Press, 2012. In a stadium full of civilians, billy and his fellow soldiers are forced to stand amidst fireworks that remind them of the situation that brought them on this tour, and killed one of their own, making them feel sick and tense while everyone around them is cheering.

[20] Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization. N.p.: Libraire Plon, 1961. Foucault wrote of the mad that they live in a state of logical delirium, that holds to all truths of reason, except in the full unreasonableness to which they take it.

[21] Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. N.p.: Little, Brown, and Company, 1951. Holden doesn’t want the typical life, he states at the end that he wants to simply be a catcher in the rye, and that speaks to his character, of striving against everything he is meant to achieve in favor of what he enjoys to do.

[22] Homer. The Iliad. N.p., 762 B.C. Achilles is given the choice to live a long life with family but to be forgotten without glory, or to fight at Troy and to be killed, but to have his name remain. So in his noble pursuit of eternal remembrance, he forgoes the concerns of many soldiers, of returning to their wives and children, in favor of something they would all give up.

[23] Shakespeare, William. King Lear. N.p.: John Heminge and Henry Condell, 1623. His daughters proclaim false love in an attempt to gain their father’s favor so he will provide them more of his kingdom. His only loving daughter, Cordelia, proclaims her true love without the fervent description that is unnecessary that her sisters used, which he took as her not loving him either.

[24] Shakespeare, William. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. N.p., 1603. The whole plot is developed through the need to avenge Hamlet’s father. He is not given a proper mourning period, and is instead forced to deal with his mother’s marriage to his uncle that they deem worthy of celebration, that also removes Hamlet’s claim to the throne of Denmark. And in the pursuit of vengeance he crushes the relationship he had had with Ophelia, driving her to madness and eventual suicide, that he holds as his fault.

[25] Albee, Edward. Zoo Story. London, NY: Samuel French, 1959. Peter, through being a nice person, is drawn into a conversation with Jerry, who appears to wish to have a normal conversation. But as it draws further, Jerry manipulates him into stabbing him, creating this dilemma of virtue between his normal upstanding identity and the man who just stabbed a man he had just met.

[26] Pirsig, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. N.p.: William Morrow and Company, 1974. The narrator of the story has two identities, Phaedrus, his former self, and who he is now. He has a strained relationship with Chris, who was old enough to have a relationship with Phaedrus, and wishes the he would come back in the place of the man who has taken over his father’s body.

[27] Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus. N.p.: Gallimard, 1942.

[28] Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse 5. N.p.: Delacorte, 1969. Billy Pilgrim is devoted to the idea of this other race of Tralfamadorians and their view of time as an eternal dimension, or image that can be see all at once, openly going out of his way to proclaim it on the news and to anyone who will listen.

[29] Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. N.p.: W. W. Norton and Company, 1996. The narrator has a second personality that comes alive when he is asleep and he imagines exists as a separate being that ultimately has a differing opinion on the route to the ultimate society and bettering of humanity.

[30] Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. N.p.: Grove Press, 1953. These two men, who are shabbily clothed, who simply wait beneath a tree, contemplating their lives and considering their suicide, only resolving not to due to their absurd logical reasoning.

[31] Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. N.p.: Grove Atlantic,  1990. These two characters, who debate over the most minute of details, simply remove themselves from the empirical life and in turn consider everything through it’s ethereal meaning. They can’t decide which direction to walk, if they should stay or go, if they should talk or not, without debating in an unreasonable fashion their actions.

[32] Melville, Herman. Bartlesby. N.p.: Putnam’s Magazine, 1853. Bartlesby is the epitome of self absorbed. He lives under his own terms and will not break his resolve for any amount of reason or coercion, save that of force, which he is unable to stop.

[33] The Matrix. Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. Produced by Joel Silver. 1999. Neo, from the instant he is taken out of the chamber the machines have raised him in, is thrust into situations that separate him from the other crew members. He is called the one by Morpheus and Trinity, is pitted against Morpheus in training simulations, is brought to the oracle telling him he is not the one. All of which ostracize him more each time.


Albee, Edward. Zoo Story. London, NY: Samuel French, 1959.

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. N.p.: Grove Press, 1953.

Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus. N.p.: Gallimard, 1942.

———. The Rebel. N.p., 1951.

———. The Stranger. N.p.: Librairie Gallimard, 1942.

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. N.p.: Grove Press, 1963

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. N.p.: Scribner, 1925.

Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization. N.p.: Libraire Plon, 1961.

Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. N.p.: Ecco Press, 2012.

“Hated.” On Aggressive. compact disc.

Homer. The Iliad. N.p., 762 B.C.

The Matrix. Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. Produced by Joel

Silver. 1999.

Melville, Herman. Bartlesby. N.p.: Putnam’s Magazine, 1853.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. N.p.: Penguin Books, 1973.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. N.p.: W. W. Norton and Company, 1996.

Pirsig, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. N.p.: William

Morrow and Company, 1974.

Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. N.p.: Little, Brown, and Company, 1951.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. N.p., 1603.

———. King Lear. N.p.: John Heminge and Henry Condell, 1623.

———. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. N.p.: Thomas

Walkley, 1622.

Sillitoe, Alan. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. N.p.: Virgin Books,

Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. N.p.: Grove Atlantic,


Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse 5. N.p.: Delacorte, 1969.

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