Loneliness in ‘Blackbird House’ Essay

Loneliness can play a significant part in the formation of the personality determined by the environment the person lives in.

The subject of the loneliness can be best viewed on the example of one of the characters in “Blackbird House” by Alice Hoffman. The short story The Pear Tree tells the reader about the boy who was visiting the farm with his parents for two months during every summer.

Dean was an odd kid, and as he got older he grew odder still he spooked people. Some local boys would be fishing down at Halfway Pond, and they’d suddenly spy him sitting all alone in the grass. He was spotted down at the bay at dusk as the fishermen came in the dock at the wharf – all by himself again. (p.171)

He appears in at the farm when he is fourteen and ever since that time he becomes an object of suppositious treatment. The boy had a favorite playing spot at the pear tree that was standing by the road. Through the story we get to know that during all those summers the boy spent at the farm he didn’t make any friends, he wasn’t going out and lead the isolated life left all to himself.

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By the time he became 16, he had got a motorbike. Here the reader gets to know that the boy would do every risky thing possible. He raced into turns too fast, he didn’t wear a helmet, and it was evident that he wasn’t the one to listen to the adults on these issues. Form one hand it can be treated as a typical teen careless, but from the other, this episode shows us that the Dean didn’t care about his own life and safety at all.

From the other hand, one can see what touching and feeling soul the boy developed. In one of the episodes, we can see him crying over the dead rabbit that was run down by the truck. He was crying real out-loud sobbing, in a way most people don’t wail even for their loved ones(p.180).

Another time the boy bought a winning lottery ticket and when he won his $20 he gave a salesman such a big hug that one could hardly expect. Even his grandchildren didn’t know dear to do that. So, we see that all in all the boy was willing for love and care and was able to care and feel.

In the end of the story, the reader finds out that the boy hanged himself. The only thing we can assume as the reason for that is his profound loneliness and its conflict with the will to experience love and care. He was an outcast, and that was the reason that lad him to death.

On the other hand, the character of Lion West Jr. is the example of other influence. Despite the loneliness was not so extreme for him, it certainly did play a major part in his life.

First of all, he was an orphan since his parents did in the car accident when he was just a little boy. As a result, he was brought up by his grandmother. His solitude and growing up without parents, however, had different consequences. He was a hard-working student and was best in everything he did.

As one can see from the further events, it is his solitude and isolation from his native country and town during the world war two that lead to his re-estimation of the life values. Before leaving to France he was going to marry a perfectly lovely girl, however, in a matter of weeks, he couldn’t imagine that anymore. The horror of war and isolation contributed to that significantly. Further events lead the reader to understand that it is thanks to those changes he married the woman he could only dream about.

Despite the loneliness is not that evident in the case of Lion West Jr. it is still an excellent example of how isolation can contribute to the development of personality instead of being destructive and mortal like in the case of Dean.

Hoffman, A. Blackbird House
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