Alexandra Huebner
Western Governers University
May 14, 2010

The reason there are so many definitions for otherness is because it is deeply embedded in who we are as people. The concept of otherness can refer to our sense of self or our identity, it can refer to how we subjugate ethnic groups and it can be thought of as a moral or philosophical practice. The excerpt from Dr. Seuss’s Star Bellied Sneeteches is more about discrimination and ethnocentrism   than personal identity, more like   a warning against letting this attitude creep in to our thinking. The literary work that I chose deals with discrimination as well, “The White House” by Claude McKay, was instrumental in bringing attention to the life and emotion of the African American during the early part of the 20th century. McKay wrote about the injustice and the lack of freedom in the modern world, and about the feelings of one who is on the outside looking in.
McKay’s use of imagery reveals his pain from being excluded. In lines like this one “Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent” (Poets.org, 2010),he eludes to his aggression or passionate response to being shut out. Claude McKay was a highly acclaimed poet during the Harlem Renaissance and traveled the world writing about injustice and discrimination as well as political issues (Lowney, 2004). His writing seems to be mostly about urban alienation, separation, and segregation, and bigotry which it is apparent in his poem “The White House”.
The other in this poem is the author, his voice or point of view is of the one being “shut out” for merely being different. The author states how he wants to be included in the life he sees others living, the homes they have and the law that was written for them. In this line, “The pavement slabs burn loose beneath my feet, A chafing savage, down the decent street”(Poets.org,2010), the author implies that he does not belong or is not even allowed to...