Outsider Essay

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The dictionary defines an outsider as “a person who is not accepted by or who is isolated from society” This archetype is a character within a text that is positioned outside the mainstream society the result of which many not only affect the individual, but also other people. Their outsider status can help to define decisions they make in life but may also be the result of barriers preventing their inclusiveness to society such as age, skin colour, or beliefs. The poems Theme for English B by Langston Hughes and The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, along with the novel A Note of Madness by Tabitha Suzuma and New Boy, a short film directed by Steph Green based on a short story by Roddy Doyle further explore the concept of characters as an outsider through various poetic and film techniques. The result of being an outsider may not only affect themselves, but also other people around them. Hughes’ poem makes this concept evident through his use of poetic techniques such as the isolation of the sentence “I am the only coloured student in my class” by enclosing it with full stops emphasising his difference. His being an outsider affects not only him but his instructor as well. This is shown in the lines “So will my page be coloured that I write? Being me, it will not be white. But it will be a part of you, instructor. You are white – yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. . . Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me. Nor do I often want to be a part of you. But we are, that’s true!” The repetition of the words “part of me” and “part of you” shows the speaker believes that different races and cultures influence each other therefore forming the term ‘American.’ The speaker intends for his instructor to realise that race does not hinder people, in general, liking the same things. The speaker in Frost’s poem may have affected other people in the future which could be shown in the lines “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere...
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