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Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
hy did Vladimir Nabokov -- a brilliant, respected and often-quoted novelist, best known perhaps for his classic novel, Lolita -- do a razor-sharp editing job on Kafka's The Metamorphosis? And what is the meaning and the motivation behind Nabokov's intervention into the classic Kafka short story? This paper reviews Kafka's iconic short story and delves into the way in which Nabokov has editorially changed the direction and meaning of the narrative.
The Kafka story is considered among the most read and most discussed short stories in all literature. hy is it so well-thought-of? For one thing, it is dramatically different from ninety-nine percent of all short stories. For another, there is meaning within the bizarre events. Of course it is a ridiculous idea to change a man into a massive roach, and the beginning of Kafka's story has to be approached with an open mind for…… [Read More]
Specific events in the story reflect this posthuman and postmodernist change in form and thought of the individual, characterized by Samsa. The first incident of posthuman change and acceptance was when Samsa's family had just discovered his metamorphosis. While Samsa questioned his transformation at first, after some time, he felt comfortable with the change himself: "…for the first time that day, he began to feel alright with his body…and he soon was believing that all his sorrows would soon be finally at an end." This reflects posthuman change and postmodern thought, wherein Samsa actually becomes receptive to the idea that he has changed and his metamorphosis could be a possible relief from all the "sorrows" he is experiencing. Another example of postmodern thought is reflected this time by Samsa's doubts and confusion over his metamorphosis. His family's rejection of his metamorphosis hurt him and made him question the acceptability of…… [Read More]
When Grete first saw Gregor, she was in denial. Gregor's metamorphosis was like being confronted by sudden death. On the other hand, Gregor's continued presence defied the grieving process. He was dead; but he was not gone. Grete could not come to terms with the loss of her brother because in order to accept this loss, Gregor had to be physically removed. That he was not removed caused anguish in Grete's life. Her reaction to this anguish is to turn on her brother. During this struggle to find acceptance Grete begins a journey of self-discovery. She metamorphoses from a shy and dependent girl to a mature woman, ready for marriage and ready to take on the responsibilities of raising and caring for a family.
In Grete, his sister, Gregor feels a protective kinship; he is successful in drawing out of Grete the most active sympathy. Grete cares for Gregor as…… [Read More]
Gregor Samsa, the man-turned-insect central character in Franz Kafka's the Metamorphosis, leads readers to question: who is truly in need of help? Clearly, Gregor needs help with returning to his human form, but other than that he is extremely unassuming and dedicated to taking care of his family. He never misses a day of work at his stressful job, and even when he finds himself transformed into a giant, grotesque bug, doesn't react with shock and self-pity. He simply tries to do the best he can. On the other hand, Gregor's family's actions toward him as an insect are grotesque and inhuman. They know that inside he is still Gregor, yet his outward appearance makes it impossible for them to show any genuine, lasting compassion. His sister tries but cannot maintain her dedication. This irony about who is really grotesque also applies to any situation where a good person…… [Read More]
Metamorphosis and Frankenstein
No Eve soothed my sorrows, nor shared my thoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. ut where was mine? He had abandoned me: and, in the bitterness of my heart, I cursed him." (Marry Shelly Frankenstein)
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and Frankenstein by Marry Shelly perhaps two of the most brilliant stories in English literature, Shelly and Kafka touch the sensitive issue of human relationship and human ability to confront an unusual situation. oth the stories tell us about the complex situation in which the individuals are thrown in, and their ability to overcome the situation. Most of all, it tells us about the human struggle, tragedy and despair in the face of failure. Though both the stories are different in their plot there are striking similarities between the themes of both the novel. Frankenstein is anything but a common novel; many lessons…… [Read More]
This is where the conflict between the asserting individual and the conventional society emerges, leaving the individual in isolation if he persists in asserting himself.
Sandner, David. Fantastic literature: a critical reader. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004.
In this analysis of what he terms as 'fantastic literature,' Sandner looks into the transition of 'realities' in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. This transition of realities is the shift from the supernatural to the 'acceptable reality' to describe Gregor's transformation to an insect to eventually being accepted as, indeed, less than a human and more an animal.
Hollingsworth, Cristopher. Poetics of the Hive: the insect metaphor in literature. Iowa: Iowa University Press, 2001.
Hollingsworth's analysis looks into the theme of repression of Gregor Samsa, illustrating explicitly how an insect, which Gregor has transformed into, symbolizes independence and autonomy. It is through Gregor's transformation to an insect that Gregor sought freedom from…… [Read More]
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
There aren't many stories that begin with an opening as shocking and hideous as Kafka's opening sentence in The Metamorphosis. It is preposterous of course to imagine waking up in bed and discovering you are a huge roach, but by doing that Kafka has the reader's undivided attention. He has set the tone for what will follow. Not only is he a big insect, his voice sounds like the buzzing of an insect. This is a story with a psychological twist; it is likely that Kafka wrote this story in order to somehow work through his rebellion against his father, with whom he had a tense relationship. Meanwhile the protagonist / bug is Gregor Samsa, who has to remain in his room lest his family find out that he isn't a human anymore. His family is in denial that the bug is really Gregor. They shove…… [Read More]
Gender has always been based upon the society's ideas about male and female. This is different from the physical difference between the sexes. The concurrent psychology of the masses dictates what is considered to be proper or improper behavior for the given genders. Males are ascribed masculine traits and females are supposed to be feminine. Fictional characters are written by flesh and blood human beings and consequently the norms of the social order will bleed into their fictional creations. Female characters in a fictional work will have the same gendered notes as a human being and the same expectations based upon that gender. If they do not prescribe to the norms of their given gender, it is always for an artistic purpose which functions as the purpose of the piece. Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" use the gender of their fictional protagonists to further the story and to make a…… [Read More]
This puts her in the prison of love towards Michael despite him being dead. Therefore, the two stories indicate the aspect of how routine affects the characters lives.
Moreover, there is a significant similarity in their use of language and writing styles. The two writers use symbolism in the narration of their tales. In the Metamorphosis by Kafka, the major symbolism is the metamorphosis of Gregor into the insect (Kafka 15). This shows the changes along which the relations occur. Additionally, the change into the bug shows how the family intruded into a cold life of alienation from each other. Therefore, Kafka applies symbolism throughout his writing. Similarly, the story the Dead by Joyce uses symbolism to show the relations between the dead and the living. Michael is dead; however, the song reminds Gretta of their love. Thus, the use of the song is symbolical. Additionally, through his death, Michael…… [Read More]
Transition of family relations in "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka: an analysis of the path from disintegration to integration of the Samsa family
In 19th century Western literature, Franz Kafka is known for his explication and interpretation of life by subsisting to psychoanalytical analysis in creating his characters in his literary works. In a period where Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx's ideologies dominate and prevail in the society, Kafka ranks as one of the most contemplative writers confronting issues self-discovery and -- realization through literature.
"The Metamorphosis," a short story by Kafka, discusses the theme of the protagonist's path towards self-discovery and -- realization. Through the character of Gregor Samsa, Kafka reflects how his discovery and realization of his true self led to his further disintegration from his family, but paradoxically, has also strengthened family relations between his mother, father, and sister. That is, just as Gregor's self-realization leads…… [Read More]
Frank Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a short novel that was first published in 1915. The author uses his experience to develop much of Gregor Samsa’s life and demonstrate the physical metamorphosis. Prior to the metamorphosis, the protagonist’s family viewed him as a means of survival and eventually took advantage of him. Samsa’s alienation from the family and his surrounding world begins with his transformation into an insect. According to Kafka, the book is a “story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetle like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family…” (p.1). After the metamorphosis, the protagonist becomes a quintessentially alienated man as he is an outsider in his own home. While Samsa is available and close to his family and friends, they are unable to communicate with him as he is trapped in another physical body that makes it impossible for him to…… [Read More]
he idea of the communication failure between Gregor and his family is emphasized through the use of a very powerful metaphor, i.e. he doors in Gregor's room. Gregor's room is both a safe retreat and a place of complete isolation from his family, similarly to how the author himself took refuge from his father in his room. In fact, Gregor's room can be deconstructed as a symbol for Kafka's own life in his father's house; in this sense, the room becomes an escape in both cases. In Gregor's case, the room symbolizes his escape in both instances of his life; as a young man, he retreats to his room where he is at the same time hidden from and harassed by his family. Secondly, as a bug, he finds shelter in his room which also acts as his prison as he is no longer able to exit without his family's…… [Read More]
Grete, Gregor's sister, may go through the most dramatic and genuine change in the entire novel. Whereas the father merely reverts back to adopting the roles that he is supposed to fulfill and did at an earlier point in the family's history, and the mother simply succumbs to her emotional weaknesses that were already present, the direction of Grete's psychological and emotional development is dramatically altered because of Gregor's transformation. Grete was on her way to growing up completely dependent upon her brother. His secret desire to send her to a conservatory to study violin may or may not have been her desire as well, but her devotion to her brother would likely have inspired her to follow his wishes especially since he was taking on the entire financial burden of her education. Grete is the only one to find the strength to directly deal with Gregor in his new…… [Read More]
Gradually, Gregor discovers how unimportant he really is to the family, and how little they really care about him. He has given them his love and devotion, and they repay him by locking him away when he needs them the most.
Kafka uses the plot to show the increasing disinterest of Gregor's family, and how they have used him for the last five years. His father has grown "fat and sluggish," his mother relied on the servants (that he paid for), and his sister did nothing much at all. He worked like a dog to keep the family together, and in thanks, they lock him away in his room when he becomes an embarrassment. Kafka uses this plot device to add information about the family, all the while showing Gregor's sweet disposition. Gregor's life is meaningless and empty, but he does not blame them for any of it. Instead, he…… [Read More]
Kafka's the Metamorphosis
Question # 3.) In this topic, discuss the symbolism in Kafka's "Metamorphosis." For instance, one of the most important images is the window and its relationship to Gregor's vision. There are also other equally important symbols too, like music, furniture, the apple, and Gregor's insect body. In this topic, analyze how Kafka uses symbolic objects and images to convey Gregor's pain and suffering. You can also connect Kafka's story to Bartleby or Gogol's "Overcoat." Just make sure that you should focus on Kafka's story and incorporate quotes from Kafka to illustrate your point.
Within the canon of classic Western literature, there have been few works of fiction which have inspired as much critical debate as Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Originally written in 1912 and published in his native German in 1915, Kafka's masterpiece presents the curious dilemma of Gregor Samsa, a young man who readers learn in…… [Read More]
The Individual's Sense of orthiness and the (Mal)Formation of Identity in Kafka's Metamorphosis
Much of literature in the modern era, from the dawn of industrialization onward, is concerned with the nature of man's identity within the framework of modern society. One could argue, of course, that the position of man in the complex strata of the universe is ultimately the question at the heart of all literature, art, and even religion; even cave paintings tend to place man in a certain position to other natural elements, and the quest to correctly identify man's place in a variety of settings is observable in the aesthetic and ritualistic art of many ancient civilizations. Mankind's obsession with itself is thus not exactly new, nor does comment on the fruits of this obsessive contemplation tend to be revolutionary.
hat is new in regards to modern literature and sensibilities is the idea that…… [Read More]
Being away from one's family is hard; it takes time to get used to it. The newly married woman did know how to face this difficult situation and no one to counsel her on the subject.
The wife moved away from her parents' house, then she got two children a boy and a girl. The choice they made for the boy's name was unfortunate. They called him Gogol, like the Russian writers his father admired so much and this name would provide countless occasions for his peers in America to make fun of him. He will later struggle to change it into a neutral old American name, Nike and will finally succeed. Despite that, his family will continue to call him Gogol.
Gogol is a suburban male teenager caught between his Indian roots and his American birthrights. Gogol and his Indian-born parents must somehow strive to keep a balance between…… [Read More]
"It will be the death of both of you, I can see that coming. hen one has to work as hard as we do, all of us, one can't stand this continual torment at home on top of it. At least I can't stand it any longer.' "
Kafka 80) There is a clear sense that the family letting go of the idea that the beast that is living in their son's room is the son they once knew releases them from the burden, as it is only moments later that Gregor finally succumbs to self starvation and dies. (Kafka 82) After Gregor's death the true nature of each transformation is expressed through the explanations of the family as they take their first time off in a very long time.
Leaning comfortably back in their seats they canvassed their prospects for the future, and it appeared on closer inspection that…… [Read More]
Kafka's The Metamorphosis is not only the story of the transformation of Gregor Samsa; it is the story of the transformation of an entire family. hen Gregor suddenly becomes a "horrible vermin" overnight (I), the reader has no choice but to register the effects of that change on Gregor's immediate environment, his family apartment. Because Gregor will never leave that apartment, it is fair to ask how his transformation transforms the others around him. I will concentrate on the chief clerk from Gregor's office, as a representative of the outside world, and Gregor's father Mr. Samsa, as representative of patriarchal authority, and considered as the instrument of Gregor's destruction. I suggest that the transformation which occurs in these other characters is the chief means by which Kafka intends his readers to assess the meaning of Gregor's own metamorphosis.
Gregor's immediate response to his own transformation is to attempt,…… [Read More]
THE USE of SYMOLISM in FRANZ KAFKA'S
According to Nahum N. Glatzer, philosopher Albert Camus once said that "the whole of Kafka's art consists in compelling the reader to re-read him," and since the interpretations of Kafka are many, this inevitably leads to a return to the story itself "in the hope of finding guidance from within" (35). This internal "guidance" is related to many elements of fiction, such as metaphor, characterization, plot and theme, yet with a single reading of Kafka's the Metamorphosis, written during late November and early December of 1912 and published in October of 1915, one can easily recognize that the use of symbolism is the dominant trait and "guidance" for the reader, due to Kafka's extraordinary ability to transcend reality and create a world that could only exist in the realms of the supernatural or the human subconscious mind.
Essayist Eliseo…… [Read More]
Man's struggle against the absurd emerges in Ivan Ilych's death, as he contemplates the meaning of his life. Psychological alienation results as Ivan begins to doubt his existence. Nabokov explains, "Egotism, falsity, hypocrisy, and above all automatism are the most important moments of life" (Nabokov 239). Nature, by means of death, removes all of the things to which Ivan has become accustomed. He is dying and that is all that matters. As he asks himself if he lived his life the right way, he begins to feel compassion for others. Here we see how Ivan must face the fact that the things he believed in and lived for were worthless. The absurdity is that the man had to die in order to realize certain truths about his life.
The Metamorphosis," and "The Death of Ivan Ilych," are stories that demonstrate man's psychological and spiritual struggles through absurd experiences. By capturing…… [Read More]
Gregor is unable to eat fresh food, now, although his delight in eating is just as strong, if not stronger than before.
Still, food, and the consumption of food, now socially isolates Gregor from his family, unlike the emotional connections that food once provided. His sister even discards the fresh foods that Gregor rejected, and he must hide after he eats, so as not to frighten his food provider. Gregor's sensitivity to his sister is underlined in this gesture towards her temperament. Rather than try to connect with his sister, he must isolate himself from her -- although this was true of Gregor before, as to 'earn' her love, he had to earn money to works, so that she could remain idle.
Still, because she provides his food, Gregor's sister sustains the most meaningful connection with her brother that could be described as human: "Gregor sometimes caught a comment which…… [Read More]
Alienation in Kafka's "Metamorphosis"
Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of Franz Kafka's short story "The Metamorphosis," becomes increasingly alienated physically, economically, and emotionally from his surroundings over the course of the tale. But while Samsa's transformation into a gigantic insect is true on a literal level, it also comes to symbolize the deeper alienation that Gregor must have been experiencing, even before the metamorphosis took place. Gregor's transformation lays bare the hypocrisies of his society and family life.
When Gregor is transformed into a cockroach, he is unable to go to work or to feed himself. He is repulsive to others, and out of compassion he conceals himself from his sister Grete when she feeds him. Even his old, wholesome food is repulsive to him and he prefers rotten food. His old routine is destroyed, although he makes an effort to go to work. When later in the story he listens…… [Read More]
But getting out of bed is problematic, and it is a humorous picture when a reader imagines what it must have looked like as he hears someone from his office arriving and he "…almost froze while his small limbs only danced around all the faster" (Kafka, 10).
It is also tragic that the apple that his father threw at him has caused inflammation; it is tragic that his room is now a dumping area; it is tragic that the new lodgers threaten to sue and that Gregor's sister thinks they should get rid of Gregor because he was driving away the renters. The incident in which Gregor's mother fainted and was "perhaps near death, thanks to him" (Kafka, 48) is tragic. Add to that the fact that broken glass wounded Gregor in the face and some "corrosive medicine dripped over him" -- and this is ironic and tragic. Medicine on…… [Read More]
Undergoing 'Kafkan Metamorphosis'
In his well-published and -- renowned short story, "The Metamorphosis," Franz Kafka has elucidated through effective symbolism the influence of change and difference to the psyche of the individual. The protagonist, Gregor Samsa, experienced this when one day, he found himself unable to go about his daily activities anymore because he has transformed -- or more aptly, metamorphosed -- into a giant insect.
In the last few paragraphs of the story, Kafka had effectively conveyed the true feeling of a human-turned-insect, and Gregor's impending realization that he is to eventually leave humanity and choose for himself his own destiny as a human-thinking insect. This event is documented as follows:
'And now?" Gregor asked himself, and looked around in the darkness. He soon made the discovery that he could no longer move at all. This didn't surprise him; in fact, he found it unnatural that up until…… [Read More]
On the surface Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is novella about a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, who literally transforms into a beetle-like creature. But underneath the surface, on an allegorical level, it is a story about adversity and alienation. As Gregor's condition worsens and he becomes more unrecognizable his family must confront the dilemma of how it is they are to handle the situation. And this dilemma, this point of conflict, this adversity they face, reveals their true character(s). It is the purpose of this essay to investigate not how Gregor's family changes in the story, but how their true colors are revealed by Gregor's metamorphosis.
In the beginning of the narrative Gregor's family is visibly concerned with his inability to get out of bed and ready for work, "At the other side door, however, his sister knocked lightly. "Gregor? Are you all right? Do you need anything?"…… [Read More]
waking up one morning and suddenly you are a bug. Last night, when you went to sleep you were an ordinary man. Today, you're a bug. Gregor Samsa does just that, and suddenly his life is thrown completely off track. No longer is he the sole breadwinner for his mother, father and sister. He is now the burden that they have been to him. His mundane job as a traveling salesman has been replaced with the confusing life he lives as a bug. It is this image of the bug he has become that is the focus of Frank Kafka, and it is the bug that represents Gregor's ultimate desire to no longer bear the responsibility of a family, and what eventually brings his family's true character to light.
Gregor is not the narrator in the story, but the narrator is right along with Gregor through his discoveries of his…… [Read More]
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
A Discussion about the Methods the Narrator uses to Control the Audience's Perceptions and Attitudes about the Characters and Events
The Metamorphosis is a story that makes an interesting use of the third person narrative by narrating the story from a rather unique perspective, but also evolving as the story progresses. In the beginning of the story the narrator is a witness to all events and is described as being limitedly "omniscient," or being knowledgeable about everything that is going on in relation to the story from one perspective. For example, the narrator is able to illustrate to the reader all of the thought and emotions that are held by the protagonist Gregor Samsa, and after his death this perspective is broadened to including the inner most thoughts of other members of the Samsa family as well. The level of understanding that the narrator can share…… [Read More]
He does his share of complaining but he does little else to remedy the situation. The truth of the matter is that Gregor did not enjoy much of his life away from work. He never expresses a desire to have more in his life nor does he express any regret, until he is a bug. In "A Hunger Artist," our hunger artist chooses to live a considerable amount of his life behind bars being a public spectacle. hile he can communicate with onlookers, he is separated from them by the bars and the setting in which he finds himself only forces him to interact with individuals for a short amount of time. Once they have become satisfied with his spectacle, they move on and leave the artist to his own thoughts. Our hunger artist is aware of the world that exists around him but it does not seem to affect…… [Read More]
The Metamorphosis as authored and offered by Franz Kafka in 1915 is often labeled as one of the more transforming, to use a pun, works in the history of literature of the last century or two, if not well beyond that. Anyone who reads the book should obviously take note of the fact that the points being made are more abstract and figurative but this does not mean they are not profound. As suggested by the assignment being completed in this report, Metamorphosis is a story of transformations and how these changes can lead to significant changes in perceptions and reactions even from the people and groups that embraced the changed person in prior examples and instances.
People inevitably change as they grow older and experience more and more of life. However, sometimes such changes can be quite sudden and dramatic and this can lead…… [Read More]
Balzac and Kafka: From Realism to Magical Realism
French author Honore de Balzac defined the genre of realism in the early 19th century with his novel Old Man Goriot, which served as a cornerstone for his more ambitious project, The Human Comedy. Old Man Goriot also served as a prototype for realistic novels, with its setting of narrative parameters which included plot, structure, characterization, and point-of-view. The 20th century, however, digressed considerably from the genre of realism. Franz Kafka, for example, has been considered as one of the forerunners of the genre known as Magical Realism. endy B. Faris defines the genre of Magical Realism as the combination of "realism and the fantastic so that the marvelous seems to grow organically within the ordinary, blurring the distinction between them… [including] different cultural traditions" (1). Faris finds magical realism to exist at the crossroads of modernism and post-modernism, as a kind…… [Read More]
Certainly, this subverts, right away, our assumptions of what is likely and humanly possible. Later, Gregor's enraged father violently illustrates the old social maxim that appearances really do matter, by pelting his stubbornly-metamorphosed son with apples in a fury one day. Soon afterward, Gregor dies. In most cases, human beings are saddened when a son or brother dies, but in this case, the remaining Samsa family members, with the possible exception of little sister Grete, are actually relieved. Gregor's metamorphosis and subsequent death forces upon each of them a metamorphosis of his or her own: ironically, Gregor's physical metamorphosis forces each of them back into life, like butterflies finally emerging from especially stubborn cocoons. Here, Kafka is pointing out the fallacies and limitations of typical human assumptions about first (in Gregor's case) what one "should" do for others; and second, in the cases of his parents and sister, what one…… [Read More]
They attempt to achieve normalcy at points by allowing Gregor to witness the family interacting through his opened door. Still, he begins to view his family with a detached hostility as they have clearly begun to treat him with shame and revulsion, rather than as a member of the family. Though his sister still attempts to feed him for a time, she can no longer bring herself to address him directly. Likewise, the mounting unhappiness in the family results in a total neglect, where his room is left to descend into filth, underscoring the idea that Gregor himself is, on the basis of his ghastly appearance, filthy and to be cast out.
This would be particularly difficult for the reader to witness, as Gregor undergoes his descent with seemingly little internal reflection. Much as is the case with his life in service to his job, Gregor is driven only by…… [Read More]
contemplated an individual's relationship with his or her environment. In Oedipus Rex and Antigone, Sophocles explores the relationship an individual has with the world and society. In each of these plays, Sophocles juxtaposes divinity and humanity and investigates the role of each within Theban society as well as looks into conflicts that arise when the laws of man conflict with divine laws. Through their narratives, Oedipus Rex and Antigone posit man is intended to serve others, including gods, and that they do not exist to be self-serving.
Oedipus Rex revolves around an eponymous anti-hero who by saving the city of Thebes from a Sphinx inadvertently and simultaneously brought forth a plague upon it. By defeating the Sphinx, Oedipus secured his place upon the Theban throne and as such was not only responsible for ensuring laws were abided, but was also responsible for protecting Thebes' citizens. Because of the plague that…… [Read More]
Distinctly from John Updike's teenage character Sammy in his short story "A&P," who realizes he has just become an adult; Connie as suddenly realizes she feels like a kid again. Now she wishes the family she usually hates having around could protect her. The actions of the fearsome Arnold, are foreshadowed early on, when he warns Connie, the night before, after first noticing her outside a drive-in restaurant: "Gonna get you, baby" (paragraph 7). From then on, Arnold's quest to "get" Connie feels, to Connie and the reader, in its dangerous intensity, much like the predatory evilness of malevolent fairy tale characters, e.g., the Big Bad olf, or the evil stepmothers (and/or stepsisters) that fix on Snow hite, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and other innocent young female characters as prey. And Connie at the end of "here Are You Going, here Have You Been" wishes, like Little Red Riding Hood, Snow…… [Read More]
In the beginning of the story, Erendira must "bathe and overdress her grandmother, scrub the floors, cook lunch, and polish the crystal ware" (Marquez) every day. Erendira endures a difficult life for a fourteen-year-old girl, considering she was "too meek for her age" (Marquez). The life her grandmother makes her live is inhumane as she attempts to make Erendira pay for her mistake with prostitution. Erendira's prince does not arrive quickly and when he does, she leaves him. Here is where we see the story move from a fairy tale story to one that seeks to explain human behavior. Erendira takes care of herself with the money she feels she deserves. She decides to do so without a man and this makes the story modern while at the same time, very timeless, in that people are as unpredictable as they are predictable. Erendira is an independent woman in need to…… [Read More]
Human society during its most 'honorable' moments
Gabriel Garcia Marquez' book "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," and Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" all put across events related to suffering and discrimination. The three writers focused on describing particular characters from the perspective of individuals interacting with them and did not necessarily provide these respective characters with the chance to speak for themselves in regard to the condition that they are in. The three books focus on presenting readers with society's tendency to discriminate particular individuals on account of their particularities, even with the fact that these people have done nothing to harm the social order.
The three novels contain a collection of stories told from the perspective of several characters. Even with the fact that narrators put across most of the rationalization in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" and in "The Metamorphosis," readers are nonetheless able…… [Read More]
The use of various artifacts as symbols is also important in showing the transference and transformation of values in many texts. In Whale ider, 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 ider; Gregor Samsa is quite happy his traditional role of a grown…… [Read More]
In the Metamorphosis, it is the image of the main character's family and those around him that is transformed. However, in the Death of Ivan Llyitch it is the main characters image of himself that is transformed. Gregor is the same person on the inside in his cockroach form that he was when he was a salesman. However, his family fails to see him the same. Gregor was happy, but becomes depressed as his family isolates themselves from him more and more. In the Death of Ivan Llyitch the main character moved from depression to joy. The characters in these novels occupy different ends of the emotional spectrum. Their emotional spectrum moves in the opposite direction.
The emotional transformation of the two main characters is opposite as well. Ivan's is an inner transformation. His physical world changes little, it is his emotional world and inner sense of self that changes.…… [Read More]
Politics, literature and the arts -- Transformation, Totalitarianism, and Modern Capitalist life in Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis," Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," and Albert Camus' Caligula
At first, the towering heights of the German director Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" may seem to have little to do with the cramped world of the Czech author Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis." Fritz Lang portrayed a humanity whereby seemingly sleek human beings were dwarfed by towering and modernist structures, where one class of thinking humans were drunk on pleasure while others suffered in pain so that the upper classes or regions of Metropolitan society might prosper. Franz Kafka portrayed a man named Gregor Samsa who became a grotesque creature, increasingly beset upon by his tiny and encloistered environment until he is transformed into a gigantic cockroach. Rather than focusing on the higher echelons of society, Kafka focused on its lower elements immediately.
In Kafka, the transformed Gregor Samsa becomes…… [Read More]
omen in Novellas
Gender, as opposed to the physical classification of sex, has always been based upon societal construct. The current psychology of the masses dictates what proper or improper behavior for the given genders is. Things have progressed, but there is still a vast difference between the roles and responsibilities of males and their female counterparts. The conflict of the modern age often stems from an intersection of gender and ethical dilemmas, both based upon societal rules. Fictional characters are written by flesh and blood human beings. Thus, the norms of the social order will bleed into their fictional creations. Female characters in a fictional work will have the same gendered notes as a human being. If they do not prescribe to the norms of their given gender, it is always for an artistic purpose which functions as the purpose of the piece. Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a…… [Read More]
His parents, no longer supported by him financially, are so repelled by his transformation that they completely ostracize their son. Even his sister, when her brother becomes a social pariah withdraws from him, despite his former support for her violin-playing. At first she feeds him and then gradually grows hardened as he resembles less and less the brother she once knew. At the end of the story, the family is relieved upon Gregor's passing, and instead plans for his sister's possible marriage, rather than mourns the loss of the man who sacrificed his life so they could be happy.
Gregor's fantastical fate is thus a metaphor for a very realistic condition -- someone who is imprisoned in a miserable life, with ungrateful relatives, and no real secure sense of a happy and fulfilling identity. Similarly, Lu Xun's "Diary of a Madman," in which the title madman is haunted by the…… [Read More]
Having difficulties connecting with other people is part of life. Both Indians and whites have suffered from a lack of communication, between themselves and within their own communities.
Many of the most well-intentioned foster parents failed to communicate with Zits, and now Zits realizes he was as much at fault as some of the people who fostered him. Zits has always felt abandoned by both white and Indian culture because he is treated like an Indian, yet has lived amongst whites and has never been educated in Indian customs. However, despite the fact he feels and has been rejected, this does not make him any less worthy as a person and this does not mean that he should stop trying to connect with others. Because he expects to be abandoned, in many instances he has been abandoned and sometimes life lives up to your expectations.
Q5h. Zits learns that even…… [Read More]
Uncle Tom characters were common in both white and black productions of the time, yet no director before Micheaux had so much as dared to shine a light on the psychology that ravages such characters. By essentially bowing to the two white men, Micheaux implied that Old Ned was less than a man; an individual whittled down to nothing more than yes-man and wholly deprived of self-worth. At this point in the history of black films, with some of the most flagrant sufferings of blacks exposed to the American public, the only logical path forward that African-Americans could take was to begin making cogent demands to improve their collective social situation.
Slowly, black characters in film took on greater and more significant roles in film. Sidney Poitier was one of the most powerful film stars of the mid twentieth century. In roles like the 1950 film by…… [Read More]
Kafka, he Wannsee Conference, And Shadows and Fog
Kafka's protagonist of "he Metamorphosis," Gregor Samsa, perfectly embodies the totalitarian mindset in the sense that he is colonized by the desires of his employer, his family, and even the room in which he lives to the point that he can hardly think for himself. he room in which Samsa dwells is so small; the man becomes a virtual prisoner of its confines. Samsa turns into an insect seemingly as a result of the limiting pressures of his physical space and cramped social and emotional life. In fact, his life is so confining, he can only think of returning to the office, even after becoming transformed into a huge and hideous insect.
Over the course of the short story by Kafka, Gregor's own family rejects him after his physical alteration, despite the fact that Gregor has long been giving up his own…… [Read More]
Even one of the most rational individuals in the play, the Duke of Milan, is initially unable to understand the significance of love and the effect that it has on people. He considers that Valentine's straightforwardness is too upfront and that the young man should be criticized for this approach. The fact that he does not understand metamorphosis until the end of the play makes it difficult for him to accept that his daughter is not meant to marry Thurio. However, as he eventually understands the importance of love in a relationship, he supports Valentine in his endeavor.
Although the concept of metamorphosis is rarely used in the contemporary society in order to describe the transition from normalcy to being in love, it can be used today in the same context as it was used then. People in the present experience similar feelings when they are in love and most…… [Read More]
These calls are done in a rapid series of low-pitched throaty notes (Great1 pp).
A study titled, "A Comparative Analysis of Plasticity in Larval Development in Three Species of Spadefoot Toads," reported by David Reznick in the June 01, 2000 issue of Ecology, evaluated four salient features of the ilbur and Collins (1973) model for amphibian metamorphosis (Reznick pp) H.M. ilbur and J.P. Collins offered an evolutionary explanation for the labile nature of amphibian metamorphosis (Reznick pp). Their model has provided the most important framework for interpreting phenotypic plasticity in age and size at metamorphosis (Reznick pp). This model is attractive due to its simplicity, and the fact that it focuses on selection at the larval life stage, is time invariant, and ignores complex relationships between larvae and their predators (Reznick pp).
Reznick study performed an experiment on three species of spadefoot toads derived from environments that differ in their…… [Read More]
John Adams & Philip Glass: Defining modern music
The 20th century has certainly seen two of the most genius composers of modern classical music: John Adams and Philip Glass. Both composers are innovators and have gone where other composers never would've gone first. Their music is unique, sometime simple but sometime overwhelming, providing the listener with new sounds and new rhythms that only a highly intelligent musical mind could have brought together on a piece. The following will shed the light on the life and work of American composers John Adams and Philip Glass, all the while providing insight on certain pieces of music that have marked their careers.
Originally from Massachusetts, John Adams is born on February 15th, 1947. His first instrument was the clarinet -- he was taught to play by his father and later on studied the instrument with Felix Viscuglia, from the Boston Symphony…… [Read More]
There isn't one time in the film that Martin doesn't act out of passion. Unlike Oedipus, Martin does not choose blindness but rather it is a result of his passion and desire for Mini.
atching Mini's First Time, the audience has a sort of god-like perspective as perhaps the audience felt in one of the great Greek theatres. As one watches the film, there is a definite feeling that it isn't going to end well for the humans involved. e can see the machinations growing and growing until they spin out of control and utter chaos is revealed. e are not sure what the fate of the characters will be, unlike Oedipus because we are so familiar with it, but like Oedipus, we know that there isn't much hope. In the Iliad and Odyssey, the gods do occasionally look down upon the humans with some compassion and interest -- and…… [Read More]
The narrator becomes repulsed by Bartleby and decides that he must be suffering from some type of mental problem. The less the narrator knows about Bartleby the worse things seem to be for him. He wants to make sense of things. He wants it all to make sense. The conflict arises from his inability to do so. The narrator is simply being human in his desire to control and understand things but Kafka is demonstrating how we cannot always know everything and how we must be at peace with that, lest we become insane. It is also important to point out that some things are simply not meant to be known or completely understood. Kafka does not attempt to explain everything in this story because we often face situations that will never be truly understood.
Marquez demonstrates conflict and how it makes for interesting fiction by allowing the readers to…… [Read More]
The effects of liquids are not a factor in regional metamorphism as fluids cannot circulate due to the effects of pressure upon the rocks, which seal in the circulation of moisture. egional metamorphism occurs in areas of heavy tectonic activity, near the places where the earth's plates rub up against one another. "egional metamorphism can be subdivided into different pressure-temperature conditions based on observed sequences of mineral assemblages. It may include an extreme condition, where partial melting occurs" (Jessey & Tarman 2010). egional metamorphism is commonly found in mountain regions (hence the name regional metamorphism), consisting of foliated rocks developed under medium to high temperatures. "The accompanying pressures vary from low to high. Geothermal gradients, which are likewise moderate to high, produce Buchan and Barrovian Facies series. Because the pressures of Buchan and Barrovian Facies series are commonly higher than are those of Contact Facies Series, they may contain different…… [Read More]
And a lot of this has to do with real epithets that were used against Jews at that time on the streets. Someone would see a Jew and say, 'You dirty dog', or 'You're nothing more than a cockroach', or something like that. For Kafka, this became a kind of literal condemnation which he accepted into himself. OK. 'You point a finger at me and call me a dog, the next thing I have to write is a story about a dog,' in which a dog has human qualities; or he transforms himself into a cockroach. A lot of this has to do with the anti-Semitism that was absolutely rampant all around him at the time." (Radio National)
As noted, by having experienced Kafka's work first hand prior to reading Mairowitz's version, I believe that Introducing Kafka turned out to be very delightful for the main reason that the reader…… [Read More]
In "The Story of Daedalus and Icarus," we have a similar lesson regarding knowledge. Icarus, much like Phaeton, does not follow his father's advice. In the air, he is distracted by everything happening below and before long "left his father, / Soared higher, higher, drawn to the vast heaven,/nearer the sun" (188). His mistake is deadly for no one can rescue him from up above. This story is importantbecause it also teaches us that we should never assumewe are something we are not or that we are more than human. Icarus forgot his humanity and "turned his thinking / Toward unknown arts, changing the laws of nature" (187). Daedalus must face his culpability here for it was his idea to leave Crete in a way that was not conventional. He assumed everything would turn out just fine.
In Hippolytus, Theseus assumes he knows the truth regarding Hippolytus and Phaedra. However,…… [Read More]
Dionysus allows Midas to have his wish knowing that it will soon be the worst thing he could have done as man cannot live by gold alone. For awhile Midas is a "happy man" (Ovid 263), surrounded by all of the gold but soon he begs to be rescued from "this loss / That looks so much like gain!" (263). e also see a tragedy with the story of Narcissus, who is so in love with himself that he falls in love with his own reflection in a pool as punishment for his cruelty. This might not seem like such a bad thing except for the fact that he is compelled to look at the reflection and never leave. In short, he "wanted himself" (70) and died while trying to kiss the image.
e see how the gods can inflict their wrath on individuals in Homer's The Iliad. hen Achilles…… [Read More]
Pissarro took a special interest in his attempts at painting, emphasizing that he should 'look for the nature that suits your temperament', and in 1876 Gauguin had a landscape in the style of Pissarro accepted at the Salon. In the meantime Pissarro had introduced him to Cezanne, for whose works he conceived a great respect-so much so that the older man began to fear that he would steal his 'sensations'. All three worked together for some time at Pontoise, where Pissarro and Gauguin drew pencil sketches of each other (Cabinet des Dessins, Louvre).
Gauguin settled for a while in ouen, painting every day after the bank he worked at closed.
Ultimately, he returned to Paris, painting in Pont-Aven, a well-known resort for artists.
Le Christ Jaune (the Yellow Christ) (Pioch, 2002) Still Life with Three Puppies 1888 (Pioch, 2002)
In "Sunny side down; Van Gogh and Gauguin," Martin…… [Read More]
control over one's own destiny is an illusion of misconstructed ideals and metaphysical analysis. Beginning with Sigmund Freud's fascination with the power of the unconscious which he explicitly details through his work Dora (1963), the influence that the unconscious has on an individual is explicated and determined to practically guide everything that one does, but without really giving the illusion that one is in control. The unconscious controls the self, but does it define who one is? When there is no sense of control or free will, things fall apart. One wants to know that one can influence the way that one's life turns out, but in reality, a very small number of things are actually under one's control. By attributing all sense of control and destiny to the unconscious, one either loses the definition of who one is as a person, or gives up any sort of power in…… [Read More]
Gleanings: Readings at the Intersection of Culture and Faith
Women, Midlife, and Leadership.
In Gleanings: Readings at the Intersection of Culture and Faith, Catherine Wallace suggests that several factors in contemporary society combine to make midlife a pivotal period in the lives of women today, much more so than in previous generations. First, Wallace points out that increases in human health and life expectancy in the last century have added so much time to the average life span that it amounts to the equivalent of an entire second adulthood. For example, she recalls her thoughts at her son's college graduation that she is thirty years older than her son but that much younger than her mother, who is herself, active and vibrant in her eighties.
Second, Wallace argues that simultaneous social changes in the way that women are perceived and in the rights and norms that typically shape their adult…… [Read More]
Is Hamlet reasonable?: Murder and death in "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
In the play "Hamlet," playwright William Shakespeare portrayed the character of Prince Hamlet as a trusting individual who later changed to become a vengeful man when he learned that his stepfather had murdered King Hamlet, his father. Considered a classic tragedy, "Hamlet" highlights the metamorphosis of Hamlet from being an indecisive leader of the kingdom to being a vengeful, wise, and ultimately, reasonable individual. This change in character had occurred towards the climax of the play, wherein it was revealed to him through the ghost of Old Hamlet who the real murderer of his father was.
In the course of metamorphosis, Hamlet is already portrayed as a reasonable individual. Despite Shakespeare's apparent infusion of an emotional being in Hamlet's character, his was a character that was initially molded from a leader's rational personality, then later into being an…… [Read More]
Mythology - Adaptations
When watching the Coen Brothers' film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, it becomes immediately apparent that the film is meant to be a creative adaptation of The Odyssey by Homer. Rather than a straightforward mimicking of The Odyssey, however, the film makes use of Homer's plot to tell a very different story about escaped convicts in the southern United States in the late 1930s.
The most obvious parallel between the original and the Coen brothers' adaptation is the main character, played by George Clooney. While he is called by his middle name, Everett, throughout most of the film, the full name of Clooney's character is Ulysses Everett McGill. "Ulysses" is, of course, the Latin translation of the name "Odysseus." By giving him an Irish last name, it could even be suggested that the Coen brothers are also making reference to another famous adaptation of The Odyssey,…… [Read More]
Sirena Selena by Mayra Santos-Febres. Use the following format:
A) Give a Historical Context if any.
The novel is placed in the Puerto ica of today where street boys -- and there are many of them -- do rummage through garbage cans and live a torturous life for survival forced to snort and sell drugs whilst doing so.
Selena was fortunate in that he was recognized for his golden voice. There are many others, however, who similarly gifted may sing their boleros in vain. Many of them end up as prostitutes or criminal. This is the story of many Mexican children of the past and of today.
B) Give the type of plot and explain why you consider that it is specifically this plot.
Most, if perhaps all, plots can be reduced to one theme: conflict. This plot is no different. The story describes Selena's conflict with various factors that…… [Read More]