August 29, 2013
The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft is dramatic and gothic horror story that revolves around the main character discovering himself to be a monster as defined by others. The nature of the protagonist is somewhat vague, but it is heavily hinted at that he is undead. His outline is “eaten-away and bone-revealing” and his skin reflected the “ghoulish shade of decay.” His physical appearance is in fact the only characteristic that classifies him as a ‘monster.’ The individuals in the outdoor castle flee at the sight of him, despite the fact that he does not display any intent of causing them harm, indeed because no such intent exists. The protagonist is a self-educated individual who only seeks out the light as well as human contact, but is denied both due to his appearance. He, too, flees from the sight of himself in “a cold and unyielding surface of polished glass,” instead of accepting himself for who he is, because he believes that he is supposed to be ‘normal’ and human, and is horrified to discover otherwise. It is worth noting that he attempts to return to his previous world of isolation and darkness, but that option is denied to him as well. To him, it seems obvious that his monstrous looks will now forever deny him his true desires. He still tries, though, by keeping company with those like him. However, the substitution does not satisfy. The protagonist dubs himself an outsider. He is an outsider from the world of humans, but he belongs with those like himself. Monstrosity is a matter of perspective, and the protagonist believes the worst of himself with little more reason than that humans find him disgustingly unaesthetic. At his core, the protagonist remains of good nature, as he tries to appease humans by hiding from their sight, and, unlike the infamous creature of Dr. Frankenstein, the protagonist of The Outsider does not take on any sort of malicious and vengeful agenda. He does not completely encompass the profile of...
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