Study Guide

The Demon's Lexicon Isolation

By Sarah Rees Brennan

Isolation

Everyone experiences isolation. Feeling alienated is, after all, part of the human condition, and that's why it's so interesting that Nick is the most isolated character in The Demon's Lexicon. Because, well, he's not human… or is he? It's kind of hard to tell at times, especially since his feelings of isolation, not fitting in, and being on his own are quintessential human experiences. It's kind of paradoxical: by feeling separate, different, and alone, Nick proves himself to have a lot in common with others. His isolation—the fact that he experiences it and laments it—actually bonds him to others, whether he realizes it or not.

Questions About Isolation

  1. In what ways is Nick in particular isolated from others? What about the other characters in the book? How are they each isolated?
  2. Is there anyone in the book who is more isolated than Nick, or anyone who isn't isolated in some way? Explain.
  3. Nick is often represented as not having the same emotions as others (he says he doesn't feel fear or understand love). Does his experience with isolation support the idea that he is emotionally deficient? Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever felt isolated from others? If so, when, and what do you think caused you to feel that way?
  5. Do you think isolation is, in fact, part of being human? Is it something everyone is bound to experience at some point? Why or why not?

Chew on This

The fact that Nick has such a hard time relating to others makes him appear anti-social at first, but the way he reacts to being isolated proves that he actually craves human connection.

In many ways, Alan is more isolated than Nick.

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