Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

"Alien Nation"

Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

"Alien Nation"

Article excerpt

Riots, suicide, unemployment, social classes, and poverty all have one thing in common; they all either cause or result in the feeling of alienation. According to Karl Marx, alienation is the individual's sense of separation and estrangement from useful work, other people, and the self (Walton 6). There were times in high school when I felt like an outsider and had low self-esteem. So I began using sarcasm and humor as a defense mechanism similar to Matt Damon's character Will in the movie Good Will Hunting. It's important to look within ourselves, our backgrounds, and how we interact with others, in order to be able to produce answers/solutions to questions/ problems that may arise.

To begin with, each and every person has many different facades, which can also be thought of as having a society within oneself. Today I'm a completely different person than I used to be in middle school. However, people who haven't talked to me since then still think of me as a stuck up, mean person as opposed to the insecure, sensitive person I am now. Since these people still view me this way, one side of me acts extra nice in front of them and keeps my sarcasm to a minimum in order to show them that I've changed. I act differently with my real friends, as do all kids, from the way I act with my parents and teachers. With my friends I'm much more open, I tell them things that parents shouldn't know, I curse, and I participate in activities that normal teenagers do. I would never curse in front of my parents or most teachers because I would get in trouble.

The relationships I have with my mom and dad are very different. My dad and I have a lot of the same interests and similar senses of humor, whereas my mom and I butt heads every chance we get. I started alienating myself from her because I thought that if we fought about everything, why talk at all? I spend most of my time in my room so as to prevent possible fights. Then, she'll come in my room and ask me why I spend most of my time in there, thus creating another fight. I have no idea why we get on each other's nerves so easily. What's more is that it's to the point now where it's my first month of college and we barely talk because, when we do, it's just constant fighting. I don't bother calling home anymore because I don't need to get yelled at for the same stuff I've been getting yelled at for years. In addition, I noticed that it's been a long time since we've both said, "I love you" to one another. Honestly, I don't know what to do anymore because when we do sit down and try to talk things out, ironically we wind up arguing.

Years ago my attitude and defensive nature stemmed from the relationship with the owner of my dance studio. Throughout the twelve years I danced at her studio, she berated and criticized everything the dancers did and would yell every chance she got. After a while, I stopped crying and developed an attitude; my sarcasm was a defense mechanism so that I wouldn't break down and cry every day. Now I doubt myself with almost everything I do because I got used to years of criticism from my childhood. I use both sarcasm and humor to protect myself from getting hurt and I push people away before they can hurt me; consequently, these are the traits that connect all of my many "sides."

Similar to the way my defense mechanisms push people away, Matt Damon's character Will pushed people away in the movie Good Will Hunting. He pushed them away with his intellect and humor so they didn't get too close and hurt him. As a youth, he was physically abused by his foster father and abandoned as a kid; therefore, he alienated people because he didn't trust anyone. He put up an intellectual wall and was in emotional denial. When Robin Williams' character repeats, "It's not your fault," he links Will's two sides together. Will is de-alienated from his emotional side, breaks down crying, and then leaves his comfortable, everyday life to venture out into the world to find himself. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.