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"Outsiders Are Victims Of Themselves And Society" What Is Your View? Use The Texts You Have Studied ("The Floating World" By John Romeril And "Death Be Not Proud" By John Donne)And One Other Text.

1365 words - 5 pages

Outsider EssayAn outsider is a person who has been exiled or excluded from society because they aredifferent in appearance, beliefs, background, behaviour, or mental health. Outsiders maychoose isolation but their victimisation is carried out by society. Romeril's Les Harding isdeliberately portrayed as one of society's innocent victims in contrast with Shakespeare'smurderous Lady Macbeth And John Donne's pathetic death. In John Romeril's surrealcomic tragedy "The Floating World" he uses a narrator to relate his thoughts about thedegeneration of Australian society to the audience, using Les Harding's disintegratingsanity as a metaphor for this. Romeril portrays Les as a victim of society's materialismand of the effects of war. John Donne paints death as an outsider in his metaphysicalpoem "Death Be Not Proud" by rebelling against the traditional forms of a sonnet andusing three quatrains and a couplet. Donne also uses a loose rhythm to portray death asbeing outside the societal rules, but his strict rhyming pattern controls death. LadyMacbeth in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is frustrated by the pressure to appear feminine in apatriarchal society and uses her husband to break society's rules. Ironically she becomesisolated from her husband; driven mad by a guilt which she has created for herself,unlike Les of "The Floating World", who is driven mad by a guilt caused by the values ofhis society.In "The Floating World", Romeril attempts to put a persons mind on stage, much likeShakespeare does in "Macbeth". Romeril does this to examine how reality and societycan cause people to go 'insane'. His theory is that there are no insane people, but thatsociety itself is insane. He attempts to convey to his audience through the use of anarrator the themes of his play, somewhat controversially spelling them out during thesecond "Drum Poem":"The point is not to suffer the world but to change it"The play ends virtually where it begins, with a word stream called a "Drum Poem" thisshows the audience that society repeats mistakes, and does not actually progress. Les is aclassic example of an outsider because throughout history society has created outsiderswho were either 'innocent bystanders' such as Les, a victim of war and capitalism:"We are all human wreckage and there is not oneplace on this earth we have not walked"or has deliberately stigmatised certain people because of fear or lack of understanding,such as death of "Death Be Not Proud" and the mentally ill like Les Harding. To developLes' mental illness during the play, Romeril uses scenes that take place in Les' mind.These internal scenes occur more frequently as he journeys closer to Japan, this aspect ofthe structure of the play symbolises that his insanity stems from his guilt about visitingJapan. His psychological and physical journey propels the play towards a climax. Thelength of each scene is different, and scenes are fragmented to heighten the effects ofLes' fragmented mind. John Donne uses a similar...

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