Isolation and Emptiness Illustrated in Shakespeare's Macbeth and Berriault's The Stone Boy
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Nowadays, many well-known stories have touched the theme of isolation as it becomes the most prevalent problem that can not be easily resolved in people’s lives. As a matter of fact, both “Macbeth” by Shakespeare and “The Stone Boy” by Gina Berriault deal to some degree with the theme of isolation and emptiness. In “Macbeth” and “The Stone Boy”, Lady Macbeth and Arnold feel isolated because of the situation that does not give them the closeness they want, and they end up being not involved in the relationship they would like with their families even when reaches the very end of the story.
In fact, isolation forms many kinds of modalities of people, which means it forms different states of the feelings of Arnold and Lady Macbeth. Being isolated, Lady Macbeth feels empty and lost and has no sense of direction while Arnold feels no emotions and numb. Although both stories touch the theme of isolation, “Macbeth” does a stronger job with the theme in comparing with “The Stone Boy” by Gina Berriault.
“The Stone Boy”, in which Arnold accidentally kills his older brother, is all about the disjunction between understanding and compassion. When the accident takes place, Arnold is being isolated by his whole family, which in turn makes him feel numb and becomes stone cold. In fact, the two characters react completely different when facing the isolation. Arnold feels he is pretty innocent at first, and he tries to explain what he thinks about his brother after Eugie’s death. Just as Gina Berriault wrote, “He had expected her to realize that he wanted to go down on his knees by her bed and tell her that Eugie was dead. She did not know it yet, nobody knew it, and yet she was sitting up in bed, waiting to be t...
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...hile Lady Macbeth tends to be over emotional. Their endings are pretty diverse from each other as well as Lady Macbeth chooses to finish her life cowardly while Arnold chooses to live on sturdily.
People have different reactions when being isolated by someone that are once so closed to them. The reactions of Lady Macbeth and Arnold are quite different but extremely typical toward the isolation. It is surprised to see that Arnold’s impassibility is directly opposite to Lady Macbeth’s exaggerated emotions. Undoubtedly, Lady Macbeth’s reaction is more attractive to me than Arnold’s emotionless. Thus, “Macbeth” by Shakespeare is the story that does a stronger job with the theme of isolation and emptiness.