Alienation In Nick Earls 48 Shades Of Brown

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“I think I was annoyed that no-one had ever told me this kind of thing might happen” (Earls, p.38). What do you do when everything you know is stripped away from you and you are thrown into a new and completely different life? Nick Earls deeply explores the idea of alienation throughout the book 48 Shades of Brown, as the central protagonist Dan takes a journey through his final year of school. Nick Earls effectively recreates the aloneness that all teenagers feel as they journey into adulthood. This theme of alienation from society is evident through the examination of characters, plot, setting and symbols. The many diverse characters of this story add to the awkward and problematic relationships Dan forms throughout the novel.
The theme of
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In many of the situations he finds himself experiencing, he tries to control the situation by introducing something he understands. This is apparent when Naomi is having sex in the room next to him and he sorts his socks like it’s a normal day. He believes that if he does what he’d usually do at that time, then everything would work out fine. This is also obvious when he puts his shoes and socks on in a particular order, which he thinks will keep his life in order, because it was “part of the routine” (Earls, p.26). He believes that making pesto will suddenly have Naomi running to him like he has just pulled out a legendary pickup line. But when the pesto is ruined he sees his only chance at redemption torn from his grasp. Clearly he uses these symbols to try and bring the consistency of his old life with him.
The novel 48 Shades of Brown by Nick Earls is effective in developing our understanding of the struggles that everyday people have to endure on a daily basis. The characters, plot, setting and symbols subtly and effectively express the theme of alienation throughout the book. The novel clearly stresses the importance of understanding someone’s life before we judge their
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