Today, in class, we wrapped up H.P. Lovecraft's "The Outsider," a story that never fails to shock and surprise my students. The claustrophobic story traces the travails of a muddled narrator as he endeavors to escape his macabre surroundings and see the sky, the starry expanse which has hitherto escaped him. If I say much more about his journey, I will ruin the story for you if you haven't read it, and I really don't want to be that girl. I will say this. At the heart of Lovecraft's tale lies the mirror, that ever-present symbol in fairy tales and horror fiction (a la The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I would argue is both). The surface of the glass in this story is hard and unforgiving, showing the narrator the true nature of his current existence, a truth he had been heretofore able to avoid.