Trapped By Society: I Only Came to Use the Phone Essay

Trapped By Society: I Only Came to Use the Phone Essay

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Do you ever feel trapped when you are in a place that you have never been before? Isolation criticizes society since it does not let everyone be equal or have the same rights. Isolation can completely change a person, and it is usually for the worst. Society “acts” like they try to prevent isolation, but in reality they isolate people for certain reasons, then those people get judged for being “different.” Upon closer inspection it is human nature to deny equal rights because people that do not act, dress, or look the same are labeled as strange, and unfortunately, many times are not accepted by the majority of society. This gives authors a way to shine a light on society’s flaws.
In the beginning of “I Only Came to Use the Phone,” Maria sets herself up to be trapped after her car breaks down, and she gets on the bus. “Maria looked over her shoulder and saw that the bus was full of women of uncertain ages and varying conditions who were sleeping in blankets just like hers.” (72) this should foreshadow that something is not right to Maria, but she just goes with it. Maria is the only women that talks on the bus, she is not acting like the other women at all. “She was less certain when she saw several women in uniform who received them at the door of the bus, pulled the blankets over their heads to keep them dry, and lined them up single file, directing them not by speaking but with rhythmic, peremptory clapping.” (73) Maria realizes once again that she is out of place and that she should get out of here as soon as possible. The first line of the poem Exile, “The night we fled the country,” (1) this family is taking a risk as they are leaving their country illegally. The family is setting themselves up to be trapped if they get i...


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...isolating them from civilization how they know it, but they do not feel trapped anymore being some place where they did not want to raise their family to grow up and live under those circumstances.
In conclusion, the isolation that occurred in both stories either changed the characters for the worst or for the best. However, the way the characters chose to deal with their situations will not really benefit them in the long run; there are better ways to handle both of these cases. Our characters will run into consequences at some point, and being trapped or cut off from civilization will not help. Our characters are able to make the ultimate decisions on their own, but they will soon realize how trapped they really are with no way of getting out.



Works Cited
Strange Pilgrims. “I Only Came to Use the Phone”. April 1978: 71-91.
Julia Alvarez. “Exile”. 2 pages

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