Aongus Mui

The Foreign Spell

The Foreign Spell

The article Foreign Spell written by Pico Iyer focuses on the idea of being a foreigner, more importantly, the struggles and benefits that come along with it. Iyer expresses what it is like to be a foreigner and reminisce about his own personal experiences of being a foreigner. He believes that being an outsider gives him a new perspective to experience the culture that many locals tend to overlook and take for granted. The progym used for this is Encomium. The author tells the story of his upbringing and what has shaped him into the person into who he is. In this case, Iyer is forged into the person he is by living as a foreigner who never really got a chance to settle in one place.
Since foreigners do not grow up locally, they get to see the place as new and unfamiliar. As someone that grows up as a local, your surroundings have been familiarized and it is not exciting to see the same things every single day. Iyer describes himself as a foreigner and claims that he is a foreigner every place he goes. This shows that he is always able to see the place in a way that the locals will not understand. He is given an opportunity to be exposed to a new culture as an outsider. The element of surprise from each place he visited never got old because he never knew what to expect. “Foreignness became not just my second home, but my theme, my fascination, a way of looking at every place as many locals could not.” (Iyer) He never let his sense of being an outsider stop him from enjoying the new places that he gets to explore. In my opinion, Iyer is very fortunate to be able to see places with a fresh pair of eyes. Living in the same place for a while makes everything dull and routine.

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