Life is the most simple and the most complicated thing throughout the whole universe. Every single day people are looking for meaning in their lives. However, not many people are able to find out what the meaning of their life really is. Some believe that there are multiple meanings for each person’s life. In the following books, each of the main characters are looking for the meaning in their own lives: The Catcher in the Rye, Into the Wild, In Cold Blood, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Franz Kafka is a German novelist who wrote “The Metamorphosis.” In the story, he uses a third person point of view narrative. The novel uses absurdum, which exaggerates and dramatize the absurdity of modern life. The protagonist, Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman, struggles with an external factor of transforming into an insect like creature. The transformation was not under his control and now struggles with a new identity.
Gregor Samsa’s transition from human to vermin was not the only shift that happened through the duration of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. The novel is centered around Gregor who wakes up as a vermin, presumably a cockroach, which catalyses a series of emotionally traumatic experiences for him and his family, culminating in Gregor’s death. Yet the most significant change is, in fact, the gender role reversal seen both with Gregor and Grete, his sister, as Gregor becomes more effeminate and Grete becomes more emasculate, directly correlating with their societal and emotional transformation due to Gregor's physical change. From the moment, Gregor wakes up he has transformed. But not just as a vermin.
The Repercussions of Cruelty Cruel actions lead to cruel endings. Gregor Samsa, the protagonist in Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis, is turned into a bug from the mental and emotional abuse by the hands of his own family. The cruelty in the Samsa household is apparent from the beginning of the storyline. Their neglect and lack of compassion for Gregor's condition immediately sets the dark and miserable mood of the novella. Gregor’s whole existence has been about caring for his family and making sacrifices for their well being.
There are many circumstances in the book that tie to Franz Kafka’s life. Kafka was abused by his father as a child just as Gregor is abused by his father. “From the fruit bowl on the sideboard his father had filled his pockets, and now, without for the moment taking accurate aim, was throwing apple after apple” (Kafka 49). Gregor’s father is throwing apples at him just as Kafka was also abused by his father who would hurt him. The apple here is seen a weapon that later on leads to Gregor’s
With such a title, one might expect that this story will express the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly, but with Kafka’s troubled upbringing, abuse and feelings of being devalued for most of his life, it’s easy to see how Kafka felt the need to symbolically dehumanize himself. Kafka’s choice of human-to-insect transformation exudes self-loathing because there’s nothing lower than a cockroach. While Gregor is the one who took on the grotesque transformation, it’s actually his family’s behavior towards his change which conveys complete hostility. Grete, for one, had enough near the end when she said, “If it were Gregor, he would have realized long ago that it isn't possible for human beings to live with such a creature, and he would have gone away of his own free will” (Kafka). It’s very disheartening knowing that his own family couldn’t handle his transformation when his first thought in the morning was getting to work on time for their
In his novel The Stranger, Albert Camus creates an emotionally incapable, narcissistic, and, at times, sociopathic character named Meursault to explore and expose his philosophies of Existentialism and Absurdism. Throughout the story Meursault follows a philosophical arc that, while somewhat extreme - from unemotional and passive to detached and reckless to self-reflective - both criticizes the dependent nature of human existence and shows the journey through the absurd that is our world. In the onset of The Stranger, following his mother’s death, Meursault acts with close to utter indifference and detachment. While the rest of “maman’s”(9) loved ones express their overwhelming grief, Meursault remains unphased and, at times, annoyed at their
Kafka was born into a middle-class family; his mother was well educated, and his father had a long history in business. Kafka, however, didn’t have the greatest relationship with his parents. His father had a terrible temper and didn’t approve of Kafka’s writing endeavors. He also put Kafka under tremendous pressure to continue the family business since he was the only son. Kafka’s childhood experience with an economically driven family dynamic was manifested in his novella The Metamorphosis.
Kafka illustrates in his novel the permanent conflict between an elusive law and a vain search for truth and justice. In The Trial, the law appears to be hidden and distant while still demanding, through its representatives, rigorous obedience. Society is thus divided in two groups differentiating the people incarnating the law to those who must obey it. This submission, however, can lead to the lost of what constitute mankind, the one element, according to René Descarte, that truly differentiates humans to animals: the possession of our souls. Indeed, Joseph K is ashamed of the despicable nature of human kind and dies, in submissiveness towards the law, “like a dog”
Neither Kafka nor Gregor followed the existentialist idea of freedom of choice in a person’s life. They both had a life they didn’t ask for and responsibilities they were forced to assume. This principle of lack of freedom is clearly shown by the unexpected transformation of Gregor, waking up as an insect and obtaining the freedom he lacked, emancipating himself of obligations, injustice and final duties. He is freed from the obligation to work to maintain his family and liberated himself from his tyrannical father. Although he turned into a horrible insect, the metamorphosis did not change the beauty of his soul.
As the main character, Gregor Samsa, transforms from human state to that of a beetle, there are many aspects that are left unexplained and seemingly unstable. For example, in the novel, Gregor’s transformation into a beetle is left unexplained by Kafka. Kafka opens up the novel by stating, “When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin” (Kafka 1). There is no scientific or physical evidence as to why this transformation occurred, but it can be ascertained that it is a psychological transformation.
Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis is the tragic story of young travelling salesman Gregor Samsa who becomes alienated by his family after he transforms overnight into a giant insect. The Metamorphosis, while open to various interpretations, clearly depicts Kafka’s own views of the suffocating capitalist socio-economic structure and the struggles for power that occur within one. In The Metamorphosis, Kafka illustrates the incessant oppression that occurs as a result of a rigidly capitalist society. First, Kafka illustrates the expendability of workers in a capitalist society with the role of Gregor at his workplace and within his family. Gregor is a traveling salesman, utterly unimportant to the company to which he dedicates his life.
In Franz Kafka’s novella “The Metamorphosis”, Gregor Samsa is a travelling salesman who has been turned into a “monstrous vermin” overnight. The story follows the events that happen after this transformation, such as how the different family members treat Gregor. At the end of the book Gregor dies, and the novella concludes with the family future plans after Gregor’s death. After reading the novella, I think that looking at the ending of of the novella, the readers are definitely left with a sense of hope because the future prospects of the family are very promising, and the family also has a clear future for their daughter.