The Metamorphosis: Being an Outsider

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Experience of Being an Outsider in Literature
  • The Universal Feature of an Outsider
  • Conclusion


Being an outsider could mean different things but it has the same idea to everyone. Some people could see it as a good thing; a way to sick out or a bad thing like not fitting in. This year we have read any different short stories, poems and stories where people have been considered outsiders but the experience has been different for each one. The experience of being an outsider is different for each person because of a physical and mental level.

The Experience of Being an Outsider in Literature

Being an outcast on a physical level can be different like in the story “The Metamorphosis” - Franz Kafka. In this story the main character Gregor goes through a physical change after going through some rough realizations in his life. The story explains that his parents had owned their own business that had got bankropped. They had owed money and need to pay off their debts, so Gregor gets a job as a traveling salesman where he runs a real tight schuel. One morning he wakes up feeling different so he goes back to sleep. He had turned into a bug overnight. After this happened his family stopped helping him and tried to move him out because of his new physical appearance. His father also started to become abusive doing things such as throwing him in his room and throwing objects at him. As another example, in “The Fall of The House of Usher” Mr. Usher was an outcast in any way you looked at him, his mental state and his physical state. This represents physically how he is in reflection to the house. The worst he was the worst the house got.

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The Universal Feature of an Outsider

In contrast the experience of being an outsider can be universal in a mental aspect. In the short story “The Pedestrian” Leonard Mead is in a futuristic society where everyone is lazy and focused on technology. It is almost illegal to not fit in to their standards. The story starts withMr. Mead going for a walk like normal which is not normal to others. While walking he is stopped by the last police car in that area. When the officer stops him he asked some questions and is asked what he does as employment. Mr. Mead answers saying ‘I guess you’d call me a writer.’ The officer said ‘No Profession,’he had taken this statement as that Mr.Mead had no job because writing is not considered a job in that society. In his mind he does not see the problem with what he is doing.


In concion, being an outsider is not universal because not everyone is not the same. In “ The “The Metamorphosis” he is physical changes and it causes him to be different and it shows him a change in his family that is not supportive. Where as in “The Pedestrian” He is mentaily different than everyone else makes him an outcast. 

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