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Absurdity Between Kafka and Camus

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Absurdity Between Kafka and Camus

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  • April 2013
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This paper seeks to compare and contrast the philosophical views of two great philosophers, namely Albert Camus and Franz Kafka. The works involved in this argument are Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Camus' The Outsider. The chief concern of both writers is to find a kind of solution to the predicament of modern man and his conflict with machines and scientific theories. Death, freedom, truth and identity are themes to be studies here in the sense of absurdity.  

Kafka was born in Prague in 1883. On the Surface, it would seem that he led a very uninteresting life. He grew up in German-speaking Jewish family. His father was very oppressive towards him which made Kafka increasingly isolated.   

Kafka thought of writing as both a curse and a blessing. His works have been interpreted in many ways. His prose explores the ideas of isolation, madness and oppression. His works are part of the philosophical doctrine called existentialism. Existentialism is the idea that without the existence of God, the individual must create all his own choices and have a God-like responsibility for his own life, or give the control of his life to an earthly God-like authority.  

The Metamorphosis is a masterful mix of horror and absurdity telling the story of the travelling salesman Gregor Samsa's bizarre transformation from a man to a man-size cockroach. The story is a powerful exploration of alienation and is regarded as a landmark work of existential literature. However, its power lies in more than its obvious symbolism. Moreover, Kafkaesque is a word invented to describe a thing with a madness bizarre, irrational or overly complex quality.  

On the other side, does Camus stand steady. Camus is a French philosophical novelist and essayist who was also a prose poet and the conscience of his time. He was born in Algeria in 1913. His experience as a fatherless young writer in Algiers and later in the anti-German resistance in Paris during World War II informed everything he wrote.  ...