Create a 7 page paper that discusses the psychological effects of extreme isolation in stories the phantom coach and the judge’s house. In an unfamiliar situation, all humans panic and look for the next nearest human so they do not have to feel that sense of isolation that Murray felt. However, each experience he had created more isolation and more panic for him. As he continues through the snow, his mind begins to show how more reasons for panic. As an example, he realizes he is lost and he feels uneasy because of the “stories of travelers who had walked on and on in the falling snow” (Edwards 50) until they laid down in the snow never to be seen again. For this and other reasons, he latches on to the first person he sees. This is right after he has thoughts of his impending death which is a foreshadowing of the end of the story. Murray sees the light of the guide as a symbol of safety and security but it turns out to be another form of isolation. Although he is warned that the master will not be hospitable, he pushes his way into the mansion. The mansion itself is dark and foreboding (another aspect of isolation) and although he is fed and allowed to find warmth, he chooses isolation once again to return to his home.Part of the reason that Murray always finds himself in isolation is that he does not pay attention to his environment. He misses the subtle clues around him that provide him with information. This is one of the reasons why he walked 20 miles away from his home and he does not notice that the phantom coach is not the one that he is supposed to catch. . . . . . . . . . . . One of the fascinating aspects of the story for me was the fact that he gets into a coach of dead people, but he did not notice. The driver did not acknowledge him, the people in the coach did not talk to him even after he talked to them first, and the coach was cold and smelled like death, but he did not notice that anything was out of the ordinary, until much later. Another point that he never seemed to get was that he was being pushed to be quiet but he never stopped talking. . . . . . . . . . . . The biggest question for me at the end was when they found him. Had he gone through all the experiences first and the accident was because he jumped out of the coach? Was he hallucinating because of hypothermia and dehydration? These two conditions would put him into an isolated state that may have brought him into this quiet panic and triggered the events of that night. .
Psychological effects of extreme isolation in stories
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