People Who Don't Fit the Norm

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HOW DO TEXTS EXPLORE THE SAME THEME OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T `FIT THE NORM'? This investigation examines the way different texts explore the theme of people who don't `fit the norm'. The texts that I have chosen were written between 19th-21st centuries, giving a good range of perspectives over different time frames. These texts include `The Piano' by Jane Campion, `In my father's Den' by Maurice Gee, and Shakespeare's `Othello'. This report discusses some common themes that I discovered amongst these texts, I outline how these texts represent a common idea that literature both New Zealand and European, is trying to portray society's views on people and what is considered `normal'. How influential are main character's personas in portraying people who don't `fit the norm'? In one of the opening scenes in the film `The Piano', the main character Ada's appearance immediately makes her seem un-normal to her new husband Stewart. He states "You're small. I never thought you'd be small" and thinks she is therefore "stunted", due to her abnormally small build compared the sturdy natives of NZ. Stewart's reaction personifies the expectations in NZ for women to be strong and sturdy to help with heavy chores and accompany the man. She also dresses in black clothes, accentuating her paleness, which contrasts greatly with the brown skins of the natives. Because of the apparent contrast in skin tones, the Maori respond by assuming she is "an angel", as they are not familiar with such stark appearances and immediately categorize her as heavenly and un-human. This judgment on appearance also affects the main character in the play `Othello', where Othello "the moor" is seen as unusual for being a black man in the European cultured city... ... middle of paper ... ...ed situations, the women try maintaining composure, whilst the men express how they truly feel. CONCLUSION From my investigation I have discovered that the quirks and quarks of every main character greatly influence their ruling out as misfits of society. The influence of the setting and environment of which their story is told, is also crucial, as each setting seems to somehow contrast with the persona of the main characters. Connections can be made between all texts that I studied that society and what people think has a certain amount of control over us, with or without us trying to fit into society. Whatever the level of a character's abnormalities, or whatever techniques show this- the underlying fact is that, universally, many texts will always in same,way,shape or form, explore the theme of people who don't quite fit the norm. But what is normal anyway?!!
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