Smith's Outlook On Life In Sillitoe's The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

2185 words - 9 pages

There are two basic facts in Smith’s life: one, that he’s in a war with the “In-laws,” and two, that he’s going to fight it until the day he dies, or die fighting. From Smith’s perspective, there is an impassable line between him and the In-laws, who are out to get him, and his best method of success is beating them down. In taking revenge on the governor of Borstal, Smith thinks he has succeeded. What Smith doesn’t realize is that he, not the governor, truly loses when he loses the race. Smith needs to revise his world view to realize that there is a better way of getting what he wants, and the revenge he seeks is only a sign of his weakness and unhappiness with his own life. By focusing his energy on getting revenge, Smith compromises his opportunities and ability to succeed. Ultimately, his actions are a loss for Smith more than for the people he is fighting.
Smith sees the authority figures around him as a threat to his happiness. To Smith, the cops and the governor of Borstal block his success. This is such a strong reality for him that the idea of them being on his side is impossible: “If only ‘them’ and ‘us’ had the same ideas we’d get [along]…but they don’t see eye to eye with us and we don’t see eye to eye with them, so that’s how it stands and how it will always stand” (7-8). The “them” he refers to are people like the governor of Borstal and the cops, the “In-law blokes” who, according to him, are “all on the watch for Out-law blokes like [Smith]…waiting to ‘phone for the coppers as soon as [he makes] a false move” (10). Furthermore, his strongest truth is that he is alone: “I knew what the loneliness of the long-distance runner running across country felt like, realizing that as far as I was concerned this feeling was the only honesty and realness there was in the world and knowing it would be no different ever, no matter what I felt at odd times, and no matter what anybody else tried to tell me” (43). His feeling of loneliness heightens his belief that the cops and the governor are out to prevent his success.
Steeped in the belief that he is alone and that he can never get the governor and the cops to think the way he does, he is determined to make the best of his situation by fighting and winning the war he’s in. Smith says that “[his] own war’s all that [he’ll] ever be bothered about” (17). Smith fights his war by taking revenge on the In-laws: when the cop comes over to his house to question him about the bakery robbery a second time, and it is pouring outside, he lets him stand in the rain, because he wants the cop “to get double pneumonia and die” (36). Furthermore, he says that if he and the governor switched places, he would have the governor “in a quarry breaking rocks until he broke his back” (42); he wants to punish the governor because he think he lacks “true” honesty. He calls a cop honest for showing spite towards him by knocking at his door at 4 a.m. just to wake his mother up and ensure she would be at the court...

Find Another Essay On Smith's Outlook on Life in Sillitoe's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

The Cause and Effects of Long Distance Relationships

982 words - 4 pages The effects of a long distance relationship can vary by the different causes that presents such a relationship. One primary cause of a long distance relationship is dating a person who is on active duty status in the military. Most long distance relationships start of when both partners are together and one has to leave due to job obligation, such as deployment or changing of duty stations. The effects from this type of relationship can vary

Dorothy Day's "The Long Loneliness" - and her issues with soup kitchens and simple christian life

873 words - 3 pages spiritual life. One influence was Saint Paul. St. Paul was not known as a typical teacher of Christ's lessons but rather deliberately exaggerate in his originality and influence. This shows in Day's teachings and outward movements that she was more original in the way she physically displayed her affection for the Catholic Church. Another influence on Day was St. Therese of Lisieux. Day was like Lisieux in that both focused on everyday mundane acts of

The Story Behind Long Distance Relationship

1181 words - 5 pages issues, life goes on without them, and simply distance. So as we can see here, there is the very obvious issues people relate to LDR’s, but each and every one of Scheve’s reasons can be solved, you just got to know how and you need to be committed. Be that as it may, but there certainly is several advantages to long-distance, some more obvious than others. Several articles and blogs discuss this topic in depth, two of which will be touched upon

Bow and Arrow: The Long Distance Effect

1778 words - 8 pages launching to prevent self-damage. Therefore, the fulfillment of a long dream of the human race, to be able to fly, came just in time – and now, not everything that came from above was good anymore. At the end of this development, we find the missiles. They now unite all features and we can even guide them to their target. Today, if we follow the impact of remote-controlled missiles when watching TV and the news on the latest wars, we are – while

Jay Gatsby´s Outlook on Life in F. Scott Fitzgerald´s The Great Gatsby

833 words - 4 pages Rousseau’s view, we can see how he (Fitzgerald) is describing the nature of man in general terms through the story of Jay Gatsby. The colors mainly associated with Jay Gatsby throughout the course of the book are white, yellow, and blue, which, in order, represent the progression of his mental state and his outlook on life. One of the focal points in The Great Gatsby is the characterization of Daisy as pure and innocent, and also as Gatsby’s goal in the

Analysis of the atheistic outlook on religion

3049 words - 13 pages Throughout this essay I will demonstrate how religion has played a role in the lives of humans as well as explicate the reasoning behind the true nature of the creation of religion by a psychopath. Throughout our short time on Earth, a very common thought and feeling that many people have is, “What’s out there? Why are we here? What made us?” etc. This natural human tendency to ask these questions lead some people draw conclusions that may or

The Revulsions of Loneliness

829 words - 3 pages . George will not have anybody to rely on and trust like he did Lennie. George is solitary in the cold harsh world now and his loneliness will be the worst of them all. He is not accustomed to being alone so when it hits him, it will hit powerfully. The life Curley’s wife has to life would be unbearable. She is constantly alone and never has anyone to talk to. She is the only woman on the ranch so people see her differently and regard her as

Reflections of the Masters in Distance Education

3170 words - 13 pages My journey in the Masters of Distance Education Teaching and Training program began summer of 2009 when I completed the Webtycho introductory course to become familiar with the online course management structure, a course that is mandatory for all new online learners. Although I completed the orientation twice before I decided on a major, I liked the convenience of learning from home, and the opportunity to complete an introductory course to

The Distance of Empathy in Byron's "Manfred"

1046 words - 4 pages In his essay “On the Tragedies of Shakespeare,” Charles Lamb criticizes the theatrical performances of Shakespeare for providing an experience that inherently provides at worst, a misrepresentation or at best, a shallow representation of a particular character’s emotional depth. This is not to say that Lamb is necessarily criticizing bad acting, but rather he argues that the activities of acting and judging of acting raise “non-essentials” to

Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations"

650 words - 3 pages the media and internet we can’t seem to focus on an activity for long amounts of time. However everyone is unique in a sense that some people have longer attention spans when they enjoy what they’re doing. Should humans be limited to one job? I believe in our functional business society we would work best following Smith’s counter argument. (Each worker was responsible for some/all of the tasks) This may be arguable depending on

Long Distance Relationships in College

1754 words - 7 pages marriage vows, yet union of the heart doesn't require a certificate; a couple is bound by true love. For someone to allow something as trivial as a few miles on a road map to demolish this strong bond, is essentially a mindless and silly decision. Why should a couple give up on something they worked so hard to grow in the first place? The least they can do is attempt to sustain their relationship with long distance. It has been reported that, “75% of

Similar Essays

"The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner" By Russell Taylor

371 words - 2 pages basically the "In-Laws" are being represented in the person of the Borstal governor. He is Smith's supervisor, who wants the criminal boy to win the Borstal Blue Ribbon Prize Cup for Long Distance Cross Country Running to gain the prestige through his expected victory for him. Smith's great talent is running and the governor knows that. Smith thinks he is treated like a race-horse. He is running against the system. Smith cannot win the race anyway

Commentary On 'the Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner' By Alan Sillitoe

638 words - 3 pages Assignment 2: Commentary on an extract from 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' By Alan Sillitoe (1959)Sillitoe uses the themesof loneliness and alienation from society through how the narrator is portrayedto be in a battle between classes, 'If only 'them' and 'us' had the same ideas we'd get on like a house on fire' (p7).The theme of class conflict is elaborated through howSillitoe develops on the character by creating a distinctive

Reflections From The Long Loneliness Essay

885 words - 4 pages Reflections From the Long LonelinessWhen Dorothy Day was young, her family did not practice religion. Early in her life, she attended churches with her neighbors and she loved the feeling of communal worship. Yet, she was unsure what she believed and still searching. Her friends never regarded her as a catholic and never knew that she would feel necessity to worship God in an organized Church. When she was working in Chicago, Dorothy Day lived

Exploration Of Family Relationships In The Sick Equation, Looking For Dad, And Long Distance

2760 words - 11 pages . Compare the ways that the theme of family relationships are explored in the three poems "The Sick Equation", "Looking For Dad", and "Long Distance". Patten uses a metaphor to describe his "Dreams of flight". He was so worried that he should avoid love: " Kept my head down and drifted with the crowd", constantly anxious that it would find a way into his life. This affected him negatively, stopping him from leading a