“I was an insider and an outsider. I was at home and I was exiled. I had never been happier, nor had I been so sad,” Betty Bao Lord confessed; a U.S writer referring to her years in Communist China during the 1980s. Indeed year eleven, the concept “outsider” embodies both the notions of acceptance and exclusion no matter whether you’re a maestro, a Jewish WWII veteran or a migrant seeking appreciation. It is their intrinsic value that defines them rather than the exterior qualities which most people judgmentally criticise. For the most part, an outsider begins with a story; a story which reveals their physical and emotional journeys, the fundamental aspects of being an outsider as well as their reactions. So, I will explore our core text, Maestro by Goldsworthy, and compare it with the Vanitas painting, WWII by Audrey Flack as well as the poem, Migrant Hostel by Peter Skrzynecki.
Outsiders are different in many ways, yet in the three texts they all involve the act of migration or being a foreigner who’s haunted by his or her past. In Maestro, Eduard Keller, the acclaimed Austrian pianist, resides in the Swan hotel, regularly drinking Schnapps alone, wearing his white linen suit with a tie as they did in his native Vienna; which strongly juxtaposes with the casual sweating shirts of the Darwinian social ethos; -“a city of booze, blow and blasphemy.” As a consequence, this makes Keller seem mysterious and so is excluded from mainstream society. The text, however, centres on Paul –an interstate migrant experiencing a new life, but who is also barred from his parent’s intimate relationship as well as school friendship groups, due to his exceptional musical talent. Similarly, Flack’s painting WWII, deals with the outcast Jewish group of survivors of concentration camps during the genocide of the Holocaust. The painting reveals perilously poised objects against a newspaper clipping, as if the Jewish community was detached from any signs of real...
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