The sample essay on Is Being An Outsider Universal Essay deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
In the Outsider and the Metamorphosis, the central characters are indicted by the Universal Pragmatics of society. The Universal Pragmatics are the formal and necessary conditions for an understanding through communication. 1 This is seen as the accepted means of communicating in society, in which ones demeanor is judged on their understandability.
Furthermore, this understandability is deemed as intelligent and true. These ways of communication serve as a basis for what our society acclaims as acceptable.
Gregor and Meursault distinctively choose an unconventional path, which stand to question the underpinnings of our humanity. In this distinctive way, they stand perpendicular to what our society has commended as the right way and choose a diverse manner of adapting to the external world. The purpose of this essay is to examine the ways that these central characters commune in their environments.
In a practical sense, both central protagonists are directly inclined with the physical world, as a means of communication.
Meursault, in the Outsider, reacts in a practical manner to the events in his day, rather than being effected by emotional tribulations. Emotion is something that is not ascertained, and cannot be proven in any physical manner. “I could feel my eyes getting tired watching the street like this with its mass of people and lights. The street lamps were making reflections on the wet pavement, and the trams, passing at regular intervals, would light up a smile or some shiny hair or a silver bracelet.
In this passage, Meursault proves to be very detailed with his physical sensations, carefully observing each person who walks by his apartment. His analytical abilities are accustomed to his sensory capabilities, as he is able to capture every observation and objectify them into something that he is able to understand. The street lamps making reflections and the trams passing by are related to a smile, shiny hair, or a silver bracelet. These are things that he is able to understand in his everyday life. Gregor, in the Metamorphosis, strives throughout his life in order to provide.
He is obliged as the eldest son to create a living for his entire family, after his father is incapable of working. As shown with his desire for the woman in the fur boa, he secretly yearns to be an independent individual; however it is something that he is not able to physically become. His transition from a human to a bug has proven to change his physical role in the family. “… and turning half unconsciously and not without a slight feeling of shame, he scuttled under the couch… his back was a little crushed”3.
Gregor has lost his high ranking position in the family, and most importantly his physical human form. His uncomfortable nature shows that he does not belong inside the body of an insect, however, he must adapt for this is what remains available to him. Gregor finds it hard to adjust to his new condition, and therefore he does not accept it. His belief is that he will one day return to being the breadwinner, and this transformation is a temporary measurement. In the meanwhile, he must work through his physical sentiments, seeking for physical satisfaction.
However, this physical satisfaction is not achieved, and therefore, he dies, disappearing as unimportant to the family. In the both novels, the protagonists reject the conventionality in society by being antagonistic to their reasoning. Meursault does not seem to be in agreement with what classifies as normal in society. He does not weep at his mother’s funeral, nor does he want to see her body before the burial. He also mentioned “I hardly ever went to see her any more” 4 . In our society, we would view such a person as immoral, which is exactly why he is condemned.
Humanity is unable to understand the way Meursault functions; therefore, he is manifested as a danger. He also does not conform to crying, and stands antagonistic towards this demeanor. The woman who was very close to Mrs. Meursault at her death bed “went on crying. [Meursault] was very surprised because [he] didn’t know who she was. [He’d] rather not have had to listen to her any more. ” 5 He almost immediately takes a dislike for this woman, who has attached herself to a woman that she does not even know. Meursault rejects this way of expressing emotion because he sees no substantial gain.
He does not understand why these people come from all over, sitting in mourn over a dead body, which is “getting on [his] nerves”. Meursault also resists complying with the vices in society. At his mothers mourning, he drinks coffee. Generally, coffee allows individuals to endure times of stress, and keep them awake. However, Meursault does not abide by these terms, instead “it was nice, the coffee had warmed me up and through the open door I could smell flowers in the night air. I think I dozed off for a while. ” 6 He has complete disregard for what society deems as important and is solely interested in his physical matters.
After the transformation, Gregor does not comply with the accepted values in society. Gregor used to enjoy foods such as bread and milk, however, he began to loathe them “and turned away from the bowl with repulsion” 7 However, he begins to develop a taste for spoiled foods, which we generally would throw away. Gregor soon develops a habit of crawling over the walls and ceiling, which his family is soon accustomed towards. They decided in order to adapt to Gregor’s transformation, they must remove the furniture in his room, allowing him to be more mobile.
This assumption, however, is not intact with Gregor’s desires, for the furniture is a symbol of his identity. Meursault and Gregor heavily rely on physical means of conveying emotion. Meursault is unable to interpret any sort of emotion, and therefore, he must commune a defense mechanism to combat this. Meursault throughout his mother’s funeral mentions the “pain in my back was getting worse” or “my back was aching. ” 8 Meursault is unable to react to emotion the way society does, instead, he registers the emotion as physical pain, as he becomes more vulnerable to his physical environment.
He begins to be affected by “the smell of petrol” and the “glare of the sky reflecting off the road” 9. When this occurs, he is unable to tolerate this physical level, and therefore he sleeps, which is cyclical throughout the novel. When he reaches levels of emotional attachment with Marie, again, he begins to dose off. “The warmth of her body and the heat of the sun made me doze off a bit. ” 10 This defense mechanism is habitual when he reaches levels of emotion where he is not in control. In the Metamorphosis, Gregor is isolated from the rest of the world by hiding under the sheets and under the couch.
By doing so, he is showing that he is unhappy with his situation in the family; however he is unable to improve it. He believes that he will rid himself as a burden from the family, and he keeps thinking that he will wake up and be human again. This is a defense mechanism for Gregor, because in his life, he has nothing to fall back onto. He is caught between the decision of helping his family and being a free individual, and now in this new transformed state, he is neither. Gregor is ashamed of what he has become; therefore, the fact that he has nothing to say is symbolic of his unimportance to the family.
All that he falls back onto is eating, sleeping and crawling around, which is all he is able to do. Meursault, however, when in prison, was able to communicate through his analytical ability and objectification. He was able to analyze his room, every piece of furniture, every scratch, and still able to maintain his dignity. He does not let the intended punishment of the prison affect him, because in his mind, he is innocent. Meursault is able to rely on his captivating imagination, which is something the prison cannot take away from him.
Both characters use their auditory senses in order to perceive society. Meursault effectively uses silence and observance as a way to communicate, rather than with assumptions and hastiness. When he is in the prison, he craves for a relationship like the man in the meeting room. “The only oasis of silence was just next to me where the young man and the little old lady were gazing at each other” 11 . Throughout this section, he is focused upon the communication that this couple is having, because he is feeling rather ill due to the noise around him.
In his conversation with Marie, he was merely talking to keep her there longer, for he enjoyed her comfort visually. Gregor is also attracted to the sounds of music that come from his sister when she is playing the violin. This music is able to communicate to him. Through his transformation, he loses his ability to talk with his family and understand them; however, the music from the violin does not leave Gregor. Shortly after this encounter, Gregor has realized that he is unimportant to his family, and that he will not change back to be of aid.
This realization drains his will and he succumbs to an injury that he received from his father throwing an apple at him. In these novels, the defiance of conforming to the Universal Pragmatics questions our liability towards this convention. In our society’s perspective, we believe that a certain demeanor of communication helps to justify one’s credibility. These are seen as sources of intelligence. However, these characters have risen above the ignorance in society by being different, and challenging these Universal Pragmatics.