Boo Radley Meets Edward Scissor Hands/ I used to Think the Idea of the Outsider Like Them Interesting but Not as Much Any More

Essay by Luke Foster

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Harper Lee

I read Harper Lees book To Kill a Mockingbird in 10nth grade at school, and I was fascinated by the outsider character Boo Radley. I don’t feel I have ever been an outsider like him as I have always had friends and family, but I can also feel alone even in a crowd. However, I think everyone can feel that way sometimes.

While in second year at art school I read Colin Wilson’s book the Outsider and found it mesmerising. It has different chapters mainly about outsider artists and writers including: H. G. Wells (Mind at the End of Its Tether), Franz KafkaAlbert CamusJean-Paul SartreT. S. EliotErnest HemingwayHarley Granville-Barker(The Secret Life), Hermann HesseT. E. LawrenceVincent van GoghVaslav NijinskyGeorge Bernard ShawWilliam BlakeFriedrich NietzscheFyodor Dostoyevsky and George Gurdjieff 

“The outsider is not sure who he is. He has found an “I”, but it is not his true “I”.’ His main business is to find his way back to himself.” 
― Colin Wilson, The Outsider

I told my sculpture lecturer at art school Bonita Ely that I wanted to be a writer and she said you must decide whether you want to be a visual artist or an author. However here I am thirty years later, and I have decided to pursue both vocations.

Another outsider piece of culture is Tim Burton’s Edward Scissor Hands film starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. I saw it at the cinemas when it first came out maybe in 1989 or 1990 and I can relate to the character Edward played by Johnny Depp. He wears a black leather suit and has scissors rather than hands.

“Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?” Tim Burton

Tim Burton is my favourite director and Edward Scissor Hands is my favourite movie of his. Johnny Depp has teamed up with Burton several times and stars in amazing movies like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Ed Wood. Depp is an amazing actor. I think Depp is amazing as he always chooses off beat movies rather than blockbuster type movies as he is more interested in making quality movies rather than lots of money.

“People say I make strange choices, but they’re not strange for me. My sickness is that I’m fascinated by human behaviour, by what’s underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people.” Johnny Depp

I had an idea today about doing a performance wearing an Edward Scissor Hands costume but with the suit, hands and boots it will be around $1000. As I am saving to do a residency in Brooklyn New York next year and some expensive dental work done, I can’t afford it now.

Boo Radley from the black and white movie To Kill a Mockingbird

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in Edward Scissor Hands