The texts, Othello by William Shakespeare, Big World by Tim Winton and my visual appropriation, have enriched my understanding of the outsider through a variety of language and visual techniques. Through the portrayal of Othello and Roderigo in Othello, the author in Big World and the outsider in my visual appropriation, the authors have conveyed the notion that outsiders will forever and always be outsiders. No matter how hard the outsider tries to fit in or deny their otherness, at times seemingly part of the group, they will, in the end, still be considered an outsider.
In Othello, Othello denies his otherness in order to conform to society however he is never truly accepted by society or himself. At the start of the play, Othello strongly disputes Brabantio’s claims of him using some sort of magic to seduce Desdemona, declaring he won her love like anyone else would. “Of my whole course of love: what drugs, what charms,/ What conjuration and what mighty magic –” the repetition of the word ‘what’ illustrates Othello’s intense dissent regarding him possessing any sort of other worldly attributes which would make him an outsider.
However by the end of the play, even Othello himself, stated that he used magic. “there’s magic in the web of it” the use of metaphor when referring to the handkerchief, that Othello gave Desdemona as a token of their love, portrays Othello’s inability to even accept himself. Used with other words such as “charmer”, “fancies”, “perdition” and “sibyl” which have negative magical connotations, Othello himself reiterates his otherness which at the start he was denying.
This shows that despite Othello trying to fit in to society, he is always considered an outsider by both society and himself. Similarly, Roderigo believes he has a close relationship with Iago but he is actually being manipulated and not accepted at all by Iago. Roderigo listens to Iago and gives him all his money in the hopes of being able to have Desdemona. The repetition of Roderigo’s questioning tone, “what will I do”, “what should I do? ”, “what say you? ” , portrays Roderigo’s trust in Iago and the idea that he is seemingly lost without Iago’s guidance.
It gives the impression that Roderigo thinks he has a close connection with Iago through his confiding of his thoughts and request for advice. Towards the end of the play though, Roderigo appears out of nowhere, apparently awoken from his ‘trance’, and accuses Iago of using him for his money. “Very well, go to! I cannot go to, man, nor ‘tis not very well. ” the angry tone of Roderigo shows he now knows that he has been manipulated and that his relationship with Iago was a false one. This emphasises the idea of Roderigo believing he was accepted by Iago when in actual fact, he was always the outsider.
In Big World by Tim Winton, the author gives the feeling that he is part of society and accepted but he continually refers to the fact that he is an outsider. The author has a best friend named Biggie, who saves the author from bullying and thus how they became best friends. In “unlike him I’m not really from here. ” and “…the city, I’m from there originally. ” the tone conveys that the author is not from Biggie’s community and although having lived there for some time, he still considers himself as an outsider, as someone who doesn’t belong.
Yet in “for once I’m not faking it. ” The use of personal pronoun shows that the author finally feels accepted and that he is part of Biggie’s society for real while all the other times he was only pretending to fit in. Nonetheless, in the end the author is still deemed an outsider. “…Biggie… will blow me off.. ” the colloquial language illustrates that even though the author felt like he had finally fit in, it still resulted in Biggie leaving him because he is an outsider.
This demonstrates that regardless of outsiders trying to fit in, and at times they do, in the end they are still viewed as different. My visual appropriation also captures the idea that an outsider will remain on the outside no matter how much they try to integrate with society. The use of colour symbolism shows the man’s desire to fit in with the group and feel acknowledged despite being different and an outsider. The vectors of the shutters convey the notion of inviting the man to join the group and give the impression of the group welcoming him.
However the leafy gate, which separates the man in the foreground from the group in the background, creates an atmosphere of separation conveying the sense of the man still being an outsider. Furthermore the square, in which the group is seen, can be considered a window and when the appropriation is viewed as a whole, it looks like the group of people is enclosed in a room while the man is left on the outside where he can only observe. This gives the feeling that regardless of the closeness the man and group seem to be in, the man is still an outsider.
As a result it shows that in spite of the man trying to fit in, to deny his otherness, he incessantly remains an outsider. Through the variety of literary and visual devices encountered in the texts, Othello, Big World and my visual appropriation, it has enriched my understanding of the outsider. The outsider will continually be perceived as the other even with them attempting to join the group or society. At times they may appear to fit in and feel accepted but ultimately the outsiders will be regarded as just that, outsiders.
Courtney from Study Moose
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