Re: What are some novels that depict loneliness, social isolation and alienation in the main character?
Interesting question.The Scarlet Letter
comes to mind immediately. So does Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
. Actually many classic ghost stories seem to center around these three themes: loneliness, isolation, and alienation, including, for example, The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier. More recent novels include Stephen King's Bag of Bones
, which features a protagonist who is trying to come to terms with his wife's death. The first third of the book focuses almost exclusively on this period of bereavement, lasting several years. For all that, The Shining
, is all about loneliness and isolation. And finally, I'm reminded of Ursula le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness
, which is about an ambassador who is sent to a remote and very cold planet to try to convince the ambisexual (no fixed gender) people to join a sort of confederation of planets. The main character is very much out of his element and must endure plenty of hardships on his journey.
Edit: Oh, and Ethan Frome
by Edith Wharton.