Outsider Area of Study

Lack of conformity may lead to an outsider
Appearance, Attitudes, Choices, Individual experiences, Ideas

Lack of conformity may lead to an Outsider. In T.S. Eliot’s Rhapsody on a windy night, Eliot mirrors his own opposition to modernity with the symbol of ‘night’. The world in the poem is completely dependent on night for its survival, night being representative of the ‘modern’ age. Eliot ‘regard[s] the moon’ showing that it is this what provides safety against the darkness of night as ‘la lane ne garde aucune rancune’; translated to ‘The moon bears no grudge’. The moon light exposes the events of the night, endangering some but providing refuge for others. Eliot’s unpoetic diction and lexicon reflects the complexity of the modern world and highlights his inability to conform to societal expectations. The last stanza brings the poem back to a rational landscape as the character returns home to a familiar environment; ‘Memory!’ The last line follows an anapaestic pentameter with emphasis on the words 'last, twist and knife' stressing the word 'knife.' Two heavy beats, side by side, in a spondee with 'last twist' describing something dark and horrible leaves the reader with an extremely   modernist attitude of no 'hope'- no way to stop the knife twisting leaving embedded a lingering dark attitude. This suggests that even after coming back to reality, the images of darkness and opposition remain, emphasizing Eliot’ outsider nature in his inconformity to fully accept what has happened to him.

Similarly in Frank Kafka’s Metamorphosis, extensive symbolism is used to relate the surreal and the absurd, alienating the effects that conformity forms. Gregor’s family rejects him due to his inability to conform to the expectations of society and appear normal as ‘he [realizes] that his appearance [is]...constantly intolerable.’ However the picture of the woman in furs is used as a symbol of Gregor’s former humanity and he clings to it desperately as his family threatens...