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The Metamorphosis Understanding Kafka and the many -isms.

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Presentation on theme: "The Metamorphosis Understanding Kafka and the many -isms."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Metamorphosis Understanding Kafka and the many -isms

2 Franz Kafka: Born to a Jewish family in Prague 0 Grew up speaking German, also fluent in Czech 0 Worked as an insurance adjuster so he could also write; very few of his works were published in his lifetime 0 Contracted TB in 1917, died of starvation in relation to the disease in Prague in 1924

3 The Metamorphosis (1915) 0 One of the few works of Kafka to be published in his lifetime 0 Wanted all his works destroyed upon his death 0 Die Verwandlung = translates to “The Transformation” 0 Also means the changing of a scene in a play 0 Follows the transformation of Gregor Samsa into a “ungeziefer”, an “unclean animal not fit for sacrifice” 0 Story addressed several changes and transformations re: all characters

4 Metaphor 0 The opening of the story is far more important than the end 0 “the identity [of the beginning] as radical starting point; the intransitive and conceptual aspect, that which has no object but its own constant clarification”: Edward Said, Metaphor – usually clarifies a relation of (A) as something (B) 0 What happens to metaphor when (A) literally becomes (B)?

5 As a … bug? 0 In “vermin” form, Samsa has lost his physical human identity which keeps him in isolation, still retains some higher human functioning 0 Able to remember even if he cannot communicate 0 Does not see himself as truly abhorrent until music incident 0 Why does Gregor go through this transformation? 0 How are others affected by his change?

6 Realism: 0 Things exist and have properties which are independent from any thoughts, theories, or beliefs 0 Naturalism is an off-shoot of this idea, in that social conditions, heredity, and environment are inescapable forces shaping human character and existence 0 Both seek to represent daily life

7 Surrealism: 0 Reaction against rationalism 0 Designed to purposely cause surprise through unexpected juxtapositions, non sequitur 0 Seeks to liberate imagination from control of reason

8 Existentialism: 0 See the world as a difficult, uncaring place and the individual must find own path 0 Each person is responsible for making own purpose and meaning 0 Way to manage the crisis of human existence

9 Absurdism: 0 Conflict between the human tendency to look for meaning in life and the inability to find any meaning 0 Human efforts will ultimately fail do to the overwhelming nature of the question 0 The absurd arises from the simultaneous existence of the human individual and the universe 0 Closely linked to existentialism


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