Lovecraft's 'The Outsider': An Analysis

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Lovecraft´s “The Outsider” is retold by a first-person narrator who lives his whole life in a castle without any light and form of human contact. After years he takes the courage to climb up the inside of the castle´s black tower and escape. At the top he comes out through a trap door in a dark room where he finds a door from which he goes outside and sees the moon for the first time and the stretching ground with a nearby stone church. Wandering through the countryside he stumbles upon a house where a friendly gathering takes place. Going inside the inhabitants flee in blank horror leaving the narra-tor alone, confused and afraid. Looking through a doorway he gazes upon a ghastly fig-ure which he slowly touches just to realize that it is…show more content…
One of which is that it is a self-representation of Lovecraft´s early life, yet this theory is rather flawed due to the fact that Lovecraft himself actually enjoyed human companionship and had a pleasant childhood (Burleson, 1983, 55) other like the main character of this story: “Unhappy is he whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness” (Lovecraft, 2014, 176). Another way to interpret this story is to view the Outsider as an untouched individual which goes through a journey of self-realization from the begin-ning of the story. His mental state in the beginning is untouched which is represented with the castle; there is no light and he has no knowledge, there are no mirrors and he does not really possess self-knowledge. His journey up the tower represents a journey to gain self-awareness where he opens the door to go outside, to gain consciousness. But when he finally gains consciousness, when he sees himself in the mirror, his mind cannot comprehend what he sees; his psyche breaks down which is represented by the sane gathering which attempts flight instantly upon his entry and him babbling about things like “the catacombs of “Nephren-ka”, “Hadoth by the Nile” and “Nitokris”. (Burleson, 1983,
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