I for Isobel

I for Isobel demonstrates that in order to survive, we need a rich imaginary world

Isobel’s wildly vivid imagination serves as a powerful survival tool throughout a traumatic childhood and subsequent tumultuous transition into adulthood, providing escapism from an agonizing and often humiliating reality, and comfort that she cannot receive from anyone or anything else. Her love for and reliance on fantasy is manifest in many forms- her insatiable appetite for reading, the imaginary characters and worlds that she invents, and the everyday wanderings of her mind, colouring a reality rendered only in shades of grey, and empowering Isobel, giving her the resilience to persevere through travail. However, while escaping into her many imaginary worlds is powerful as an interim distraction from the agonizing realities of life, it is not a method that can sustain a fulfilling existence in the long term. Escaping from problems does not solve them; distraction can only ever be transient, and her uncontrollable imagination gradually becomes a menace, irritating Isobel rather than assisting her as it used to. Ultimately, Isobel is not truly able to survive in the world, to surge through life rather than drift, and to live with the confidence to be herself until she confronts the past and conquers the demons of memory...

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