Existentialism In The Metamorphosis And In The Penal Colony

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In Kafka 's work The Metamorphosis and in In the Penal Colony the themes and ideas portrayed are nothing less than chaotic. But it is in this chaos that he creates an efficient way of portraying the ideas of philosophical thought to his readers. He shows these ideas without directly stating any one track of thought to follow which allows each reader to form the book to their ways of thought rather than molding their outlook to existential thought. Kafka chooses to convey the messages of absurdism, essentialism and existentialism through the protagonist 's reactions when their purpose is brought into question. He does this by completely revoking purpose in The Metamorphosis and question the legitimacy of the officer’s purpose in In the Penal Colony. Within both novels Kafka focuses on the characters’ vocations, their purposes and he threatens and removes the purpose of characters who choose to be defined by society to portray the distinctions between existential and essential though. Purpose is the concept that there is meaning in a person 's life, that they are alive for a reason, whether they define that reason or let others define it. Unless they satisfy that reason they are failing themselves. In existential thought, there is no concept of defined purpose, it is more so that you do as you…show more content…
Kafka juxtaposes his ideals of existentialism in The Metamorphosis. Once Gregor is no longer able to work, the first issue the family chooses to be worried about is how they would survive financially, totally ignoring Gregor and the issues that he is having. This is just the first step in dehumanizing Gregor. Kafka does this to portray the idea if one’s purpose is specifically defined, when something occurs and they are no longer able to accomplish that purpose, they become a waste of space and are seen as inhuman. The symbol of being a beetle is Kafka’s nonsensical and in your face way of showing a reader that society dehumanizes those that do not accomplish their

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