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In Harold Ramis’s film, “Groundhog Day” and Franz Kafka’s story, “The Transformation”, both primary characters are faced with a life-altering event due to the fact that of the method they live their lives. In Groundhog Day the primary character Phil is a conceited, ironical weatherman absorbed in his own discomforts, without hope, and cut off from other individuals. He is forced to relive the exact same day, groundhogs day, over and over once again.
In “The Metamorphosis the main character is Gregor Samsa, a guy who invests his time working to settle a debt for his father.
Gregor wakes up to find that he has turned into a beetle. Throughout these two works the main characters try to go back to living their life as before not realizing that this is their 2nd possibility at life to make things right. Phil handles to do so just by breaking through and ending up being a person of intimacy, imagination and empathy which sets him totally free from his exile of living in the same day over and over once again.
When it comes to Gregor, going from somebody everybody depends upon to something no one wants to take care of, he does not get a possibility to have whatever go back to typical. He passes away and his family, for when, is relieved. Groundhog Day lets us experience what it would resemble to make an advancement like this in our own lives. The movie shows us a character that is like the worst in ourselves.
Like us, he discovers himself in a mysterious scenario, something like fate. But, unlike us, he gets the high-end of being stuck in the same day up until he gets it right.
Where the majority of us go semi-automatically through the majority of our days, he is required to stop and treat every day like a world onto itself, and decide how to use it. In the end, he undergoes a development to a more genuine self in which intimacy, imagination and empathy come naturally – a self that was trapped inside him which could just be freed by trapping him. Like numerous of the heroes of fiction, he can only escape his exile from himself by being banished in a situation not of his picking.
This movie hits on a message that is commonly found elsewhere and that appears to express an essential truth. When we get beyond denial and resentment over the conditions of life and death, and accept our situation, it tells us, then life ceases to be a problem and we can become authentic and compassionate. Phil makes two such breakthroughs: first he accepts being condemned to being stuck in the same day, then he accepts the fact that everyone else is condemned to die.
In The Metamorphosis, Gregor’s transformation is kind of an extended metaphor. He deeply resented having to support his family. Desiring to be in turn nurtured by them, he becomes a parasite. The complete dependence of Gregor’s family and employer on him, then, is seen as an ironic foil to the reality of Gregor’s anatomical transformation into a parasite. The Metamorphosis is not upon Gregor, but on his family, as they abandon their dependence on him and learn to be self-sufficient.
One interpretation of the story holds that the title applies equally to Gregor’s sister Grete: she passes from girlhood to young womanhood during the course of the narrative. Another view of Gregor’s transformation is that it is an extended metaphor, carried from abstract concept to concrete reality: trapped in a meaningless job and isolated from the human beings around him, Gregor is thought of as an insect by himself and by others, so he becomes one only to die, and relieving the family of having to take care of him.
Fiction allows us to identify with and play characters who find their true selves, putting us in touch with the universal human nature in each of us. The ability to watch and play the role of fictional characters makes the fiction more interesting and expands our vision of possible ways of being. But, one way or another, it must lead us back to our true selves, the universal, moral being we all are, which is as real as the physical world is real.
Groundhog Day symbolizes just this since Phil treats his life as a game only when he is in despair. Once he has a sense of hope, he becomes more authentic and discovers himself. As for The Metamorphosis, Gregor’s state before he turned into a bug contrasts with the family’s state after the got jobs and began working. I guess Kafka is trying to say that we shouldn’t work like bugs for others leaving out time for ourselves as Gregor had but instead work for ourselves with pride and dignity as the family did at the end of the story.
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