Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2024


In their novels Ready Player One and Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Ernest Cline and Thomas De Quincey shed light on the individual and societal desire to escape pain and suffering. The drastically different time periods of these two stories show that addiction and avoidance have been plaguing humans for centuries. These characters’ unhealthy use of escapism serves as a warning to readers about the dangers of identifying oneself within a false reality. Ultimately, both characters exemplify that placing one’s agency within a false reality renders one completely powerless. When one accepts their inability to change their undesirable pasts and presents, they can begin to accept reality for all of its terribly painful and wonderfully beautiful experiences.


Course: ENG 493, Senior Capstone (Dr. Aaron Housholder)

Faculty Project Advisor: Dr. Aaron Housholder