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The theme of the World Literature text is 'the outsider'. Compare the ways in which Mersault, Antigone and Gregor may be defined by that term

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Introduction

The theme of the World Literature text is �the outsider'. Compare the ways in which Mersault, Antigone and Gregor may be defined by that term In every society there is an outsider, a person who stands out amongst the crowd, someone who does not fit in with the norm. Most of the time it is obvious who the outsider in a group is, but sometimes it takes a deeper look into the personality and characteristics of a person to see the traits that make the person an Outsider. The characters that will be compared are Mersault from Camus's "The Outsider", Sophocles's Antigone and Gregor Samsa from Kafka's Metamorphosis. Each of these characters is portrayed as an outsider in their own society. In some of the texts it is obvious which ways make the characters an outsider, in others there are more subtle ways that influence the reader into seeing the character as an outsider. The authors combine their own writing techniques, the characteristics of the characters and the norms of the society to define the characters as outsiders. To compare the ways in which Mersault, Antigone and Gregor can be defined by the term, the outsider, we must first look at the writing techniques that their creators use, then the ...read more.

Middle

She looks like every one else in the play but it is her actions that isolate her and define her as an outsider. Breaking the rules and defying her foster father, leaves her alone and shunned. In contrary to Gregor and Mersault, Antigone does have a connection to someone. She is to be married and as shown by his heroic actions, Haemon loves her. Mersault loses all his friends in the end of the book and is left to die in front of a mass of strangers. Gregor suffers a similar fate, dying alone in his room. Mersault is an outsider because he only conforms to the norm superficially, underneath the charade lies a personality not in conflict with itself but at ease and indifferent to the world. He lacks the capacity to make irrational and emotional decisions, therefore separating him from the rest of the world. In the "Outsider", the people who are near to Mersault do not seem to realise that he lacks emotion; Mersault seems to mask this inability well. The reader is given the impression that Mersault is not even doing it on purpose thereby alienating him even more. ...read more.

Conclusion

They all seem to possess traits that alienate them from their fellow characters and the reader thus making them like an unanswered question. In all the texts there are questions left unanswered about the characters thoughts. Some of the traits make the characters more human, others do not but they all define the characters as outsiders. The authors of the texts, wrote in very different ways, each trying to highlight the points they thought were important. One of the most important things when defining characters as an outsider is to look at what the author did not tell us. Leaving a question mark, and thus stopping the reader from being able to connect with the character. The last point is something that indirectly affects the characters and the reader. The society in which the text is set, has a background effect on the readers perspective, when contrasting or comparing the character to the norm of the society it is possible to see that they are outsiders. Antigone, Mersault and Gregor it seem are defined by the term "the outsider" by their creators and the readers. Consciously or not they all stand out, and this makes the books and plays so intriguing in this aspect. They question our own position in relation to others and society in general. ...read more.

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