'Isolation In Rachel's Grapes Of Wrath'

539 Words3 Pages
“But I did become sadder, and sadness gets boring after a while, for the sad person and for everyone around them.” Sadly, this quote exemplifies Rachel's negative feelings towards herself and the people who abandoned her in her time of need. Later in the story, the effects of her depression on her personal relationships can be observed. “Sometimes I catch myself trying to remember the last time I had meaningful physical contact with another person, just a hug or a heartfelt squeeze of my hand, and my heart twitches.”

Isolation is a major theme in the novel. Rachel feels isolated, even when people are within an arm's reach. Understandably, she wants someone to love her, but she drives them away with her unusual, albeit justified, behavior.
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With a purpose in her life she can achieve the life she always wanted. “Hollowness: that I understand. [...] The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps.”

Again, this quote links back to the theme of isolation. Rachel has felt this Hollowness for a long time, her person growing around it, it changed who she is. “There’s nothing so painful, so corrosive, as suspicion.” Both Anna and Rachel experience the painful sting of suspicion, it shaped who they are. There suspicion is a turning point in the story, it forces them to come to a revelation they both feared. “The more I want to be oblivious, the less I can be. Life and light will not let me be.” This reveals much about Rachel. It reveals she wants to forget, ignore the pain in her life. But, she refuses to be oblivious, she’d rather face the pain. “I want to drag knives over my skin, just to feel something other than shame, but I’m not even brave enough for
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