Isolation In Dewey Dell's Survival Of The Fittest

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By virtue of evolution, interpersonal interaction is crucial to the sanity and welfare of Humans. In accordance with the premise of “Survival of the Fittest,” Humans that connect with each other are able to form communities; this bolsters the chances that the whole community will survive through cooperating to address individually insurmountable issues. Therefore, the possibility of isolation presents a grave threat to the safety of an individual. Thus, to dissuade nonconformity, society leverages the punishment of exile to keep its participants in check. As a result, people will commit themselves to avoid isolation at all costs and if they become even marginally isolated, their psyche prioritizes re-assimilation at any expense. In As I Lay …show more content…

When Peabody comes to the Bundrens home to care for Addie, Dewey Dell ponders that “And he could do so much for me, and then I would not be alone. Then I could be all right alone” (#). Specifically, Dewey Dell believes that Peabody is capable of performing an abortion. In this instance, Dewey Dell claims that she “could be all right alone,” meaning that if could be free of her unborn child, she would be technically “alone”, but also safe and “alright” from the disgrace of being an unwed mother. No doubt, Dewey Dell is convinced that this pregnancy threatens to ostracize her from society. The conversation with the pharmacist Moseley also displays Dewey Dell’s individual isolation on multiple levels. As Dewey Dell gradually reveals her wish to purchase an abortion, the pharmacist recoils and exclaims that “...I'd advise you to buy that and go back home and tell your pa, if you have one, and let him make somebody buy you a wedding license” (#). The pharmacist’s comment that Dewey Dell should seek a marriage license instead of an abortion carries two messages; that requesting an illegal and controversial abortion entails a risk of being exposed and rejected by society, and that there exists a stigma against unwedded mothers. Dewey Dell is, unfortunately, trapped in this vicious cycle. Moreover, the pharmacist’s comments state that Dewey’s isolation will worsen if she cannot marry but Dewey Dell infers that her isolation with worsen if she cannot terminate the baby. Indeed, when the Bundrens reach Jefferson, Dewey Dell's paramount focus is to find a Doctor that will abort her pregnancy, thus saving Dewey from the impending isolation foretold by Moseley the

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