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Schools of Thought on The Metamorphosis

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Kafkas Isms Schools of Thought on The Metamorphosis.

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1 Schools of Thought on The Metamorphosis
Kafka’s Isms Schools of Thought on The Metamorphosis

2 Interpretations of The Metamorphosis
Over the years, Kafka’s fiction has been interpreted in many different ways, therefore his work has been “adopted” by different schools of thought and had various theories applied to it. Primary examples include: Expressionism Surrealism Existentialism Freudianism

3 Expressionism Early 19th c. movement based on the belief that inner reality, a person’s thoughts and feelings, are more important than “objective” reality of the outside world. The response of the individual is more important than the situation that causes it. Expressionist artist and writers portray this inner reality through symbolism, distortion, imagery, and fantasy rather than through realistic depictions.

4 Surrealism “Super realism” developed in France in the early 1900s.
Surrealism stressed the power of imagination and dreams over conscious control or rational thinking.

5 Surrealist painters like Salvador Dali depicted objects as they never appear in reality.
The Persistence of Memory 1931

6 Existentialism A philosophical, religious, and artistic movement characterized by: The belief that people are “created” or formed by the experiences they have. It is action and choice that give life meaning, not simply the act of existing. Rene Descartes – “I think, therefore I am” Human nature is irrational and chaotic, but human beings are free to make their own moral choices in life.

7 Existentialism and Kafka
During the literary modernist movement in the 1900s, authors began describing dystopian societies and surreal and absurd situations in a parallel universe, a trend that paralleled the existentialist movement. In Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis, a man awakes to the realization that he has turned into a creature known as a "vermin". This story, which is certainly "absurd" and surreal, is one of many modernist literary works that influenced and were influenced by existentialist philosophy. (From

8 Important Existentialists
Soren Kirkegaard- “Father of existentialism” stressed the importance of the self. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote a play called No Exit and known for stating, “Hell is other people”.

9 Freudianism Based on ideas of psychologist, Sigmund Freud.
Freud believed that every human action is influenced by the unconscious mind. Early experiences, especially parental relationships affect the development of the unconscious. Kafka’s conflicted relationship with his father and the way his fiction deals with family relationships appeals to Freudians.

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