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Compare Hale's Outsider with Burrow's Junky - Essay Example

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Summary
William Burroughs was amongst the most influential literary figures in the 20th century. He was a writer who deviated from traditional ways of writing and made literature exciting and mysterious. He had the tendency of creating a literature of risk whereby the writer portrayed himself as an outsider in a society surrounded with acceptable writers…
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Compare Hale's Outsider with Burrow's Junky

Download file to see previous pages... Junky was a semi autobiographical narrative of the daily life of a heroin addict. Although the book is quite straightforward in telling the story of a drug addict it is considered to be more political than literary. The book attracted controversy because of its contentious drug themes, which is evident from subtitles in the book such as Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict. Nevertheless, it is clear from the story that the author has depicted himself as an outsider amongst outsiders because he himself was not a drug addict but had ventured into the sleazy world of drugs in attempts to escape from his mental agony after he accidentally shot his wife. This paper makes a comparison of Burroughs work with Hale’s A Nation of Outsiders. The paper holds that Hale has focused and highlighted perceptions of how middle class whites in America began believing themselves to be outsiders in their own country during the period after the Second World War. In contrast, the Junky does not aim at creating any kind of sympathy for drug addicts. The book titled A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America by Grace Elizabeth Hale also deals with the issue of outsider in terms of the characteristics of life in America after the end of the Second World War. ...
At this time Americans had started identifying themselves with outsiders or rebels whom they mostly associated with African Americans. Hale argues that in having identified themselves with the outsider, Americans had started pursuing inconsistent objectives. They had started working towards their self perceived independence and individual freedom. In being fascinated with outsiders, Americans had started desiring to remain connected and to have value in terms of having a deep sense of sharing with other people. Such paradoxical reversals engrossed many white middle class Americans after the Second World War. It became a fashion for middle class whites in America to have perceptions of being outsiders. Hale has depicted how a large number of people began defining themselves as outsiders although these groups always appeared to compete with one another. But all these people created their respective group’s identity as outsiders. For instance, during the time when the abortion debate was at its zenith, anti abortion activists thought of themselves as outsiders because the Supreme Court had legalized abortion in 1973. Because these people were entirely against legalizing abortion they started considering themselves as outsiders, while the insiders were considered to be those that were favored by the law of the land (Hale, 2011). The similarity of these circumstances can be felt in Burrough’s Junky because nothing much has changed in the several years since the book was published. Drug addiction continues to be a strong moral issue for many people and in being fair as a society Americans have not made much progress by way of understanding the ways in which drugs should be treated. It cannot be denied that there ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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