Study Guide

Requiem for a Dream Isolation

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In 1969, Harry Nilsson sang "One." What about it? That it's the loneliest number, of course.

Harry Nilsson was wrong.

The loneliest number might be sixty-five. Why that number? Because social isolation is much more common among senior citizens than youngsters. (Source)

In Requiem for a Dream, Sara Goldfarb's old and lonely. One day, you have a happy family and your favorite book is All My Friends are Dead. The next, you can't look at that book anymore because it's all too real.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Why is Sara so lonely?
  2. What does loneliness cause Sara to do that she might not otherwise do?
  3. What could Sara do to ease her loneliness?
  4. How do the other characters in the film cope with isolation?

Chew on This

In the theme on drugs, we created a formula: drugs + desperation = deep doo-doo. Sara's desperation is caused by isolation. She is desperate to no longer be lonely.

Like his mother, Harry is unable to connect with Marion. He can't connect with his mom. His girlfriend is focused on money. And his best friend, Ty, seems to be the driving force in his drug use, putting drugs before friendship.

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