Changes in Society/ Franz Kafka and Pleasantville

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“Changes in Society”
People live in a society that is constantly changing. Whether they like it or not, changes will occur gradually or in such a rapid way that it will be hard to notice them. For many decades, people have been expressing their opinions about changes in society through media and scripture. These opinions have had a great impact on society. They are not only an expression of how society affects people but they also show how people affect society. Overall, media and scripture demonstrate how factors in society provide a medium for change and how according to the nature of these factors change is brought upon a society.

A society is a group of people sharing an equal system of action distinguished by mutual interests, culture, and characteristics in relationships (Aberle 101). Social change is something that characterizes all societies and in some situations, societies can be destroyed by these social changes or can create a new society. As change can be gradual an peaceful, rapid and violent, or it can be unnoticed. One of the greatest changes that can occur is the overlapping of two different societies. When this occurs one society is terminated due to one of four factors: war, extinction, absorption, or apathy (Aberle 103). War arises when members of the same society have major disagreements and conflicts. The consequences lead to extermination of many members of a society, the creation of a new one, and a few group members joining other societies. Extinction happens when a society looses few of its members. It is not necessary for a society to loose all its members in order to be extinct. The loss of only a few members can lead to big changes in the system of action, which makes a society weak and eventually another society can take over. Absorption occurs when there is a loss of self-identity among the members of a society then members easily get absorbed into another society. Finally, apathy takes place when there is a lack of motivation in a society. This can lead to numerous consequences such as: migration, extinction of a society, death, and the shifting of members to other societies.

Changes in a society are visible through various pieces of literature. Authors write about social change because is one of the most realistic things that can be related to every aspect of life whether it is religion, politics, physiology, emotions, and workplace among others. Different authors have several ways of writing about social change. Some authors who write about social change make their works public through television, movies, and radio. The most influencing parts of the media in society are movies and television. This happens because people can actually see the change and find themselves portrayed visually. Television actually provides an image of where people fit in a society and contributes to the reallocation of previously taken for granted reciprocal roles. It also allows viewers to see how others have imagined them and later develop different roles for themselves in the real world (Meyrowitz). A particular author who wrote about social change was Franz Kafka through his book “The Metamorphosis”. “The Metamorphosis” relates the story about Gregor Samsa, a man who financially supported his family. Gregor did not like his job, found his life meaningless, and lived his life only to pay the debt his father owed. One day Gregor woke up transformed into a cockroach. To everyone’s surprise Gregor’s first reaction was to worry about how he would get to work and perform his everyday duties. On the other hand, his family was repulsed by him and alienated him in his room. The only person who took care of Gregor was his sister Grete, whom at the end of the story ends up denying her relation to Gregor.

Kafka’s story is a clear example of social change. The title itself, “Metamorphosis” is a synonym for change and alteration. The major change in the story is definitely Gregor’s transformation from a human...
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