Loneliness as a Place

and a State of Mind

Are the loneliest places of our own creation? In a Lonely Place explores this question with classic noir style. Dixon Steele, played by Humphrey Bogart, is a Hollywood screenwriter who hasn’t written a hit in a while. This artistic slump can be viewed as the result of choices Dix has made, choices that have not only prevented Dix from writing but have also created both a mental and physical world of loneliness.

In a Lonely Place

As the movie opens we meet Dixon Steele and find a man on edge, a man ready to fight, and a man who lives a lonely sort of life. As the movie progresses we get to know Dix and learn he is man who drinks too much, a man who chooses not to address his anger issues, and a man who is more concerned with his pursuit of fame than developing a healthy relationship. This last point is foreshadowed early in the movie when Dix says, “There is no sacrifice too great for a chance at immortality.” Under the direction of Nicholas Ray, Bogart’s Dixon Steele is a classic noir protagonist. He is man who is flawed from the first frame to the last. Dixon Steele is a man whose choices (both knowingly and unknowingly) create a world of loneliness and fatalism that he cannot escape.

Nicholas Ray’s direction creates an atmosphere of loneliness, not only for the protagonist but for those who enter his life as well. Bogart’s portrayal of Dixon Steele, the lonely writer, is incredible. The story is a study of loneliness and its impact on those it touches. Whether you are a fan of noir movies, Humphrey Bogart, the psychology of loneliness, or any combination of the three In a Lonely Place is worth a watch.

-K-

In a Lonely Place (1950) starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. Directed by Nicholas Ray.

Authors on Loneliness

Seven Points to Ponder

  • “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald-
  • “The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.” -Charlotte Bronte-
  • “But many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone.” -bell hooks-
“Morning Commuter”
  • “Be good and you will be lonesome.” -Mark Twain-
  • “I am alone, I thought, and they are everybody.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky-
  • “If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.” -Aldous Huxley-
  • “Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship-but the loneliness of the soul in its appaling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.” -Sylvia Plath-

-K-

Walking Alone v. Being Lonely

and Knowing Which is Which

Life can be difficult, and sometimes we need a moment or few to ourselves. Sometimes a bit of peace and quiet away from the general difficulties of life can be a respite, a relief, and a requirement if we want to establish some balance and order during these not so normal times. A walk alone can be beneficial in many ways and it is not the same as being lonely (unfortunately some do have difficulty with the distinction between the two).

“Man in Parking Lot”

A walk alone can distance us from the difficult people we often find ourselves dealing with on the daily. A walk alone can make our daily difficulties a little less so. A walk alone can offer perspective and possible solutions. A walk alone is a decision made with care and deliberation. Don’t be afraid to walk alone (we choose to walk alone). It is not the same as being lonely (loneliness chooses us).

-K-

Holidays, Winter, and Solitude

It’s Déjà vu…again

I started feeling a strong sense of déjà vu when I began tapping out the title of this post. After a quick look at some of my previous posts, I realized I started this month in much the same vein as I ended November of last year (and now I’m thinking of a William Faulkner quote about how the past is never really past). Before I lose the thread and wander off topic let’s get back to the title and purpose of this post (even if it’s an old topic).

“Chair and Snow”

I’ve written about the topics of being alone, loneliness, and solitary confinement at some length in previous posts. This time of year has me thinking about those topics and posts, and I want to send out a friendly message to remind ourselves that this is a difficult time for many of us. The holiday season is difficult enough but combine that with winter weather and all the long term problems associated with the pandemic and there is the possibility of a perfect storms of sorts. The holidays along with the weather and the pandemic can create a solitary confinement (actual and/or psychological) that can be a challenge for the strongest individuals. During this season lets keep an eye, ear, and heart open for each other and make certain that the pressures of this time of year don’t push those we care about too far.

-K-

We feel alone when regrets, doubts, and missed chances come out of the shadows.

-K-

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑