Problem of the Outcast in Literature Essay

February 2, 2022 by Essay Writer

Society has always been characterized by different norms and stereotypes which were created in order to control behavior of a person and make him/her a part of this very society. Having appeared at the beginning of the formation of a civilized community, these norms very soon became one of the main factors which determined whether a person would be accepted by the majority of population or not. Everything is important within the framework of these norms. Appearance of a person, his manners and peculiarities of behavior are the factors which influence creation of the image of a person. A human being, who does not follow these rules, are doomed to be ignored. To be an outcast means to be a lone person who has no chances for understanding or normal life in the bosom of his/her family.

The story LUSUS Naturae by Margaret Atwood is devoted to this issue. The novel begins with a discussion within the family. Everyone is stressed and shocked. The reason for this shock is a girl who is not like the rest of people. Doctor, who is called to investigate this case, calls her lusus naturae (Atwood para. 3). Being different from the rest of people, the girl is doomed. The whole family is united in its desire to hide her and forget about her existence as it can be a scar upon its good name. Young girl is even said to be dead. The author describes feelings of the girl, underlining the fact that she understands her singularity and attitude of her relatives towards her, though she is still very lonely.

Another story devoted to this very issue is The Monster by Toby Litt. The author presents the life of a strange creature. A reader can see peculiarities of the existence of a creature from aside. Toby Litt underlines uncertainty of this creature as it is not even sure if it is a monster (Litt 134). There are no mirrors for it to see its appearance. However, the author also underlines loneliness, thirst for communication and socialization peculiar for this being.

One more story which centers around the issue of being an outsider is called St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. As it comes from the title, the story is devoted to the life of girls who are not accepted by society. The author also underlines the not admission of people who are different by society. Children, who are raised by werewolves, live in special schools and are taught by nuns to behave like usual people (Russel 240). Being forgotten by their parents, these children also feel themselves lonely and abandoned and, moreover, they feel their otherness very distinct.

Being different, these three stories, however, center around the same issue. The authors underline a sad experience of being alone. Using different examples and settings, they show how difficult is the life of people who are not the same as we are. Authors underline the thirst for society and communication peculiar for these people. Moreover, the motif of family can also be seen as in all these stories unusual children were taken as a curse and their families preferred to forget about their existence. Being other, these children were doomed to be isolated or being treated in different way.

Having analyzed these stories, it is possible to say that the issue of otherness and isolation is very actual within the framework of human society.

Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. Lusus Naturae: a short story by Margaret Atwood. 2014. Web.

Litt, Toby. “The Monster”. The Book of Other People. Ed. Zadie Smith. London: Penguin Books, 2008. 133-139. Print.

Russel, Karen. St Lucys Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. n.d. Web.

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