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Franz Kafka Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Exploration Notes- as Level Drama and Theatre Studies

1) Discuss and compare the exploration of characterisation in Metamorphosis by Steven Berkoff and (A Doll’s House). Draw your own practical understanding of the skills used including use of language and voice to portray character. In our practical sessions of Modelling Gregor in “Metamorphosis”, we thought about how we would physically see Gregor. To do this, we had to individually create the shape of Gregor with our bodies. We all started off thinking about it really literally- “How would a beetle look?” rather than thinking about how our body represented Gregor and his feelings towards society. We then expanded on our thoughts about Gregor and then tried to empathise with him and think about how we would look if we…

Franz Kafka and being an outsider in the society

As the oldest child, after the deaths of his older brothers, Franz Kafka, however, has never reached the dominance and leadership character and failed to live a normal, human life – after his birth he had doubted in his human nature and grew as an outsider inside the community. His father, a successful shopkeeper with giant managing abilities and patriarchal, yet tyrannical, personality, had no other goals, except material stability and social recognition. It was him, who made Franz fail to live, who made him family-limited, unable to create his own household. Indeed, his father, Hermann Kafka, was the one, who broke his nature and drove him into literature. All of the pain, pressure, struggle and aspiration, Franz Kafka described…

Existentialism in Camus and Kafka

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and Albert Camus’ The Outsider, both feature protagonists in situations out of which arise existentialist values. Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts. In The Metamorphosis the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, realizes his existentialism towards the end of the novella. In contrast, Monsieur Meursault, the protagonist in The Outsider, knows of his existentialism, only realizing his life’s lack of meaning moments after he is sentenced to death. Despite the somewhat absurd nature of The Metamorphosis, and the realistic nature of The Outsider, similar values are communicated…

The Metamorphosis & Existentialism

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a masterfully written novella about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes his life to his family and work, for nothing in return. Only when he is transformed into a helpless beetle does he begin to develop a self-identity and understand the relationships around him. The underlying theme of The Metamorphosis is an existential one that says that any given choice will govern the later course of a person’s life and that a person has ultimate will over making choices. In this case, Gregor’s choices of his part in society cause him to have a lack of identity that has made him to be numb to everything around him. One morning Gregor awakens to find himself…

The Truman Show

Life’s remorseless nature presents uncontrollable situations to everyone at the most unexpected times. Like any game of cards, life deals a set of cards that a player is forced to play. This is known as agency; the concept that each human individual within a culture has the ability to determine and choose by free will his or her actions. Some prime examples that shine this principle is Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Albert Camus’, “The Guest”, Franz Kafka’s, “The Metamorphosis”, and Christof’s film, “The Truman show. ” In each example, a third party advocate interferes and inhabits each protagonist into a controlled setting where the protagonists are confronted with a moral dilemma. In Frankl’s, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, the…

Society’s True Nature

In Franz Kafka’s enigmatic novel The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa lives the life of a bug. The traveling salesman awakens one morning to find himself incredulously transformed into a “monstrous vermin.” At First, Gregor is apathetic towards his “metamorphosis” and immediately begins describing his room and slight discomforts in great detail. At the same time, Gregor incessantly comments on unimportant aspects of his – almost dismissing the fact that he is now a cockroach. When his family starts knocking on his door, Gregor immediately begins conjuring scenarios in which he imagines that his family genuinely cares for him. This illusion is soon shattered after the reader is exposed to the true nature of the Samsas. Gregor’s metamorphosis symbolizes what he is…

Two Outcasts

The metamorphosis is a great book by Franz Kafka; it’s basically the story of a hardworking traveling salesman who wakes up as a cockroach. The book takes the reader through Gregor’s life after he has turned into a roach. Kafka allows us to get into Gregor’s thoughts and pretty much analyze what he must be going through after his transformation. Blue line incident is a short poem by Jacob Saenz. The poem describes a night on the train in Philadelphia. The poem is about the narrator and a stranger who he sees on the train, who happens to be a gang member selling cocaine. There are many differences between the metamorphosis and the blue line incident. Where one character is…

Sacrifice and Transformation in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”

“The Making of an Allegory,” by Edwin Honig and “Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ as Death and Resurrection Fantasy,” by Peter Dow Webster illuminate how sacrifice and transformation are a vital part of the deeper meaning of “The Metamorphosis.” Gregor Samsa is an ordinary young man until he wakes up one day as a giant vermin; metamorphosised into something horrendous and reviled by the world. Through Honig’s and Webster’s critical essays, this transformation, as well as many more, and sacrifice made by all involved are explored in a thorough and definitive way. In “The Making of an Allegory,” Honig illustrates how the family structure is altered and strengthened by Gregor’s transformation and, in turn, his seclusion. Honig’s syntax defines his article and…

Alienation

Metamorphosis is a change in physical form or structure. In The Metamorphosis, there is a literal change in the protagonist, Gregor Samsa’s, physical form from a man to an insect. This metamorphosis brings to light one of the major themes in the novel; the theme of alienation. Today’s society demands conformity to its norms and any individual who refuses to accept these faces alienation. Such is the fate of Gregor in the story. Before Gregor’s metamorphosis, he is alienated from his job, humanity, his family, and even his body. The metamorphosis, however, takes the alienation to a different plane. In the story, Gregor’s job precipitates his alienation from society, his family, and himself. Gregor’s initial alienation is from his physical…

The women of “The Trial” by Franz Kafka

“The Trial”, a novel written by Franz Kafka, has been considered to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. However, it has also been greatly controversial, and has gone from being burned, to being praised since its publication. Throughout The Trial, Kafka had created a surrealistic atmosphere, which is not only evident by the events in the book, but also by the characters. Particularly, the women in the novel are peculiar, and have various bizarre effects on the protagonist, Joseph K. The characterization of these women is quite complex, and varies from them having insignificant, to significant roles. As the novel progresses, the women in the novel become increasingly important. In the beginning of “The Trial”, we…

“The Metamorphosis” – Kafka

Fear, jolting, trapping in a sense, and awakening in a more literal one, a nightmare is a dream forged from the inner reality of yourself. In “The Metamorphosis” by Kafka a traveling salesman named Gregor is mysteriously turned into a dung beetle, which not even his family can learn to accept let alone understand. His family is now faced with a lack of money, since Gregor was the only person working, leaving him to feel worthless and like a disappointment as opposed to the importance that he once held. Kafka’s tone and overall style according to Russian author Vladimir Nabokov makes The Metamorphosis a “striking contrast to the nightmare of the tale.” Enhancing this nightmarish quality of this novella are…

The Metamorphosis: A Distortion of Reality

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka uses the distortions of Gregor Samsa’s current state as a vermin, his invaded space, and the abstract use of time to convey the antagonist’s alienation, isolation, and conformity causing his inaction as the existential hero. Gregor’s transformation absurdly exaggerates his shape, voice, and senses to exemplify how his physical mutation into a vermin and inarticulate struggles represent his alienation from society. “When Gregor Samsa woke up, […] he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin” (Kafka 2). Because Gregor perceives himself of having the lowest form of life, it becomes appropriate for him to transform into a mammoth insect, instead of any other animal. Gregor’s “painful and uncontrollable squeaking mixed in with…

Metamorphosis” and “A Rose for Emily

The tone, setting, and characters of Franz Kafka’s “The metamorphosis” can be seen as similar to those aspects in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily. ” In both of these stories, there are two different people who are living their lives very much alike, and they both die all alone. The tone of “Metamorphosis” is similar to the tone of “A Rose for Emily. ”Gregor and Miss Emily are both isolated and alienated. The narrator says that Gregor has an “exhausting profession” as a traveling salesman. Gregor rides on a train all of the time for his work. He meets new people, but he has no affection for them. Gregor does not spend a lot of time with his family….

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

A person is defined by more than his name, his occupation, or his family because he belongs to a greater universe where he is defined as a human, famous for imperfection and the conscience. However, the most obvious characteristic of humanity is governed by the dynamics of emotion. In Franz Kafka’s novel The Metamorphosis Gregor Samsa finds himself falling out of society and losing touch with humanity, and his loss of identity is furthered by his inability to understand emotion. The narrator’s presentation of human emotion, specifically kindness and anger, creates opposing tones of ambiguity and lucidity, a conflict that answers to a greater theme of the novel. Situations where a sense of kindness is evoked indicate the narrator’s ambiguity….

The Metamorphosis: Franz Kafka – An exmaple of Magic Realism

The Metamorphosis, written by Franz Kafka is a prime example of magic realism. Magic realism is a fictional technique that combines fantasy with raw, physical or social reality in a search for truth beyond that available from the surface of everyday life. Also, reality becomes deformed and it is difficult for the reader to perceive the essential truths and tell the difference between what is real and what is unreal. The story, “The Metamorphosis” is about Gregor, a workaholic, who is changed into an insect and must deal with his present reality. The hardest part of being an insect for him was the estrangement from his family, which eventually led to his death. In reading this story, the difference between…

The Metamorphosis and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

What defines rational and irrational thought and behavior varies across cultures and generations. It all depends on one’s perspective; however, a commonly accepted definition of irrational behavior seems to be behavior that lacks sound judgment. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, and “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, support this idea by showing us some illustrations of characters who think and act irrationally. Okonkwo, the main character of Things Fall Apart, displays numerous signs of human irrationality. His biggest flaw is that he is terrified of looking weak, like his father. This irrational and excessive fear of being associated with his father causes him to think and do exactly the…

Isolation in The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka’s short story “The Metamorphosis” centers on the theme of isolation. In the lead character’s transformation he experiences a deep isolation towards society now. What this isolation leads to is to a series of events, that cause Gregor’s isolation to grow. Eventually isolation leads to Gregor’s death. Isolation and its after effects are the central themes involved in the “The Metamorphosis. ” Isolation is the state of an individual being separated from other individuals. Isolation involves both the mental state of an individual and the physical state of the individual. Further isolation also involves the individual’s belief versus societies’ believes. This paper will argue that Gregor’s transformation into a bug is a symbolic representation of one’s difficulty in accepting…

The Theme of Alienation in Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”

Metamorphosis is a change in physical form or structure. In The Metamorphosis, there is a literal change in the protagonist, Gregor Samsa’s, physical form from a man to an insect. This metamorphosis brings to light one of the major themes in the novel; the theme of alienation. Today’s society demands conformity to its norms and any individual who refuses to accept these faces alienation. Such is the fate of Gregor in the story. Before Gregor’s metamorphosis, he is alienated from his job, humanity, his family, and even his body. The metamorphosis, however, takes the alienation to a different plane. In the story, Gregor’s job precipitates his alienation from society, his family, and himself. Gregor’s initial alienation is from his physical…

“The Metamorphosis” written by Franz Kafka

“The Metamorphosis,” written by Franz Kafka in 1912, follows several societal patterns that are frequently observed in Kafka’s other works. The idea of growth and degradation is one of these patterns. Another is the aspect of human nature that causes deception as a defensive device. Within “The Metamorphosis” these two key patterns come together to create a story that employs magic realism and dream logic to create a drama of illness. It is said in Roy Pascal’s book Kafka’s Narrators: A study of his stories and sketches that the abstract structure of the story “forces the reader to look beyond the surface network of the story for another symbolic meaning” (39). By taking a closer look at these two together,…

Franz Kafka “Before the Law”

In his story, Before the Law, Franz Kafka suggests that obstacles that one faces in life can either be used to mold one’s success or bring about one’s failure. If one can overcome the challenges that they are faced with, they grow in a unique type of way, for every individual perceives each situation in a distinct fashion. That unique type of growth is what establishes a person’s character and perception of the world. However, if one cannot overcome their obstacles, then they cut off their means for growth and are left uninspired, forgetting any dreams or aspirations. It is through the man’s interactions with the doorkeeper, and his inability to overcome this obstacle, that eventually leads him down the…

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

Throughout the novel, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, the author, demonstrates the parallel between his relationship with his family, and Gregor Samsa’s relationship with his family, in addition to how Gregor came to chose to become the insect he was physically, after having already been one psychologically. Following the existentialist theory, Gregor allowed himself to become an insect, as he chose how he would let his family affect him. Ultimately, it was he that made the choice to become accustomed to the routine of his daily life, to shell himself from all intimacies, and to become wholly focused on his job, despite the fact that he despised it. Gregor Samsa was in full control of his own life, as he allowed…

Change: Theme in the Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a novella. The theme in this story is that change in one character leads to positive and negative change in other characters. Gregor Samsa, the main character changes into dung beetle. His change affects his family deeply and they make both positive and negative changes to accommodate both his change and themselves. The family resents Gregor and sees him as a burden, which is a negative change, but previously the family had relied on Gregor as their source of income. This is where the conflict arises because now they have to learn to work for themselves instead of relying on Gregor for income, which is ultimately a great positive change. The family’s initial reaction…