Value Struggle The Struggle Between Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Literature Type: Essay Paper: #40266488 Related Topics: Freedom Riders, Value, Chinua Achebe, Personal Values
Excerpt from Essay :

The use of various artifacts as symbols is also important in showing the transference and transformation of values in many texts. In Whale Rider, a whale's tooth that has been cast into the ocean serves as a symbol of leadership, and the protagonist's retrieval eventually cements her ascendance to the role of a tribal leader. Her positive arc moving away from traditional values is shown in her appropriation of certain physical symbols of this traditional value system. In this way, the protagonist both literally and symbolically adopts and yet transforms the traditional values of her tribe in order to achieve her own identity.

Artifacts are out to a much different use in Franz Kafka's the Metamorphosis. Of course, the arc that the protagonist of this story travels is also markedly different from that of the protagonist in Whale Rider; Gregor Samsa is quite happy his traditional role of a grown son in a lower-middle class family until he finds himself transformed into a large cockroach-like insect. Though at first he is still cared for by his family, the loss of his traditional role within that family eventually leads to his loss of value within the family, and his bedroom becomes a repository for all manner of discardable refuse and junk that is unwanted or underappreciated by the other family members. These artifacts are used to symbolize the lack of importance Gregor Samsa now holds in the traditional value system to which his family ascribes and of which he himself was a part just prior to his transformation.

Traditional values are becoming increasingly difficult to uphold and are increasingly counter to the values of


Whale Rider, the Namesake, and the Metamorphosis all deal with the issue of traditional vs. non-traditional values in the creation of personal identity and social responsibility in the modern world. These texts are by no means exhaustive of the different accounts that have arisen from modern and post-modern experiences and ruminations, but they are fine examples of the increasing trend in all types of cultural literature of the examination and dissection of the nature of values and their inherent mutability.


Caro, N. (2003). Whale rider. Buena Vista.

Kafka, F. (1915). The metamorphosis. New York: Penguin.

Lahiri, J. (2003). The namesake. New York:…

Sources Used in Documents:


Caro, N. (2003). Whale rider. Buena Vista.

Kafka, F. (1915). The metamorphosis. New York: Penguin.

Lahiri, J. (2003). The namesake. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

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