Alien (literary concept)
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The alien is a device used in literature to signify elements foreign, ignored, repressed, or marginalized in a given society. The alien can also offer an outside view, illuminating the complexities or exposing the hypocrisies and irrationalities in a set of social norms.
In literature, Shakespeare's Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and Mary Shelley's monster in Frankenstein are classic examples of the alien. Numerous other examples abound in subsequent literature and film, such as Mersault in Albert Camus' The Outsider and Sarah Woodruff in John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman.
- The Other
- Leslie Fiedler (1973). The Stranger in Shakespeare. New York: Stein and Day, pp. 85–136.