Lovecraft, Lovecraft-H.P.

The Outsider

The OutsiderThe Outsider

It had always been like this–the dank and dark castle, the moldy books, the solitude. Life had always been this way for the man in question. He remembers nothing of a family or even caregivers, although, there might have been the one. He learned to read from moldy books. Those books told him of a world that was not at all familiar to him. There was an open sky, not just more darkness. There was a sun, not just darkness. There was a moon, not just darkness.

Longing for another world, one day the man starting to climb as high as he could inside of the castle. He went up and up and up. He thought he must have been at the roof. The darkness was there still. He found a door, it was incredibly heavy, but he managed to get it open.

He found himself not looking over a great expanse, but looking across the level ground, but there was the sky and there was the moon. These were the things he had dreamed of. He wandered some more and found a castle aglow with light. He managed to get inside to find a party of people enjoying themselves, which was short-lived, for at first glance of him they fled in fear. He could not figure out what was wrong, but he spied the creature they had seen. It was ghastly. Its skin was all grey and pieces of it were wasted away. He stood there in fear. He reached up to shield himself from the monster, but found that his hand and the monster’s hand touched. He wasn’t actually touching the monster, but a glass. He was the monster.

He left. He knew the world of light was not for him. He played among the tombstones and cavorted with spirits because that was where he belonged.

Observations

It would be terribly dreadful to come back to life, but in an awful state of decay. This was written before the word zombie even came into being, but that’s about what is going on here, except that there was far less brain-eating.

Themes

This man remembered nothing of his earthly life. He thought of himself as human still, but found out that he was no longer of the human variety. The light was no longer his domain. He had changed to such an extent that he no longer belonged where he once had. This happens, in real life. I’m not entirely sure about what goes on after death, but as we don’t have a bunch of ghosts/dead people/whatever walking around, I’m assuming that dead beings know that they’re not supposed to be out among the living because it’s just not their world anymore. In our everyday matters, we can change so much that we don’t belong where we once did. Maybe you grew up really poor, but then you became a multi-millionaire when you grew up. You go back to visit the trailer park, but you don’t belong there anymore because you’re so incredibly different. Maybe you used to be a big, old sinner and drug addict who hung out with the worst kind of people, but you found Jesus and reformed your ways. You find that your old friends cannot be your friends anymore because you’re too different now.

While this story is meant to scare us, with quite a shocking smack in the face, about who our narrator really is, it can also be paralleled to other things in our lives. Maybe we don’t find that we’re really decrepit monsters, but maybe we find out that we’re hispters, or rednecks, or we’re the old people, whatever the case may be. We can all become something without necessarily realizing that we’ve become something. I mean seriously, when did you make the leap from high school cheerleader and bake sale goddess to hipster queen? Did it happen all at once? Probably not, but it happened.

How we define ourselves definitely changes throughout our lives, let’s just hope we never have to have a moment where we define ourselves as the undead.

Overall

I bet that party was a party to remember.

Weigh In

If a zombie walked into your living room, what would you do?

If you found out that you were some awful monster, what would you do from that point forward? Could you take the change of your fundamental self?

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