Research Essay, Angel Levine

Topics: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa Pages: 5 (2113 words) Published: September 18, 2012
The Supernatural, a manifestation attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature (Literary Jewels), examples of that would be ghosts, angels, and gigantic human sized bugs. The story containing supernatural elements may have a religious purpose, such the role of angels and demons in Islam, Judaism and Christianity; or the supernatural elements may portray notions about reality such as issues in social justice, discrimination, or alienation and the sense of belonging. Of course, there are many ways to incorporate supernatural elements in novels and movies, but we will focus on two works that describe the issues and factors of alienation and belonging. Franz Kafka and Bernard Malamud are two talented authors whom incorporated the notion of supernatural elements in their stories. In The Metamorphosis and Angel Levine, both main characters were facing unusually bad luck throughout the story; Angel Levine's Manischwitz was losing everything from his wealth to his health and family. Gregor Samsa of The Metamorphosis could not get out of bed because of his armor-like back and many little legs; he was also on the verge of losing everything he had. Even though they may be facing a series of unfortunate events, they handled their situations very differently, when comparing both characters, one may argue that Gregor, who seemed to be calm and collected at the fact that he was transformed to an insect in compared to Manischwitz, who was very stressed, was the stronger of the two; but no matter who carried more discipline and internal strength, they were both threatened to lose a basic human need, the sense of belonging. The main reason one character survives in the end while the other parish is idea of alienation, being alone in the world while nobody acknowledges your existence.

In both stories, both men took on the responsibility to provide means for their respected families. They were hard at work, even with the odds being against them, Gregor was overworked having to catch the train every morning at 5:00am, he was forced to work as a traveling salesman to settle a past family debt While Manischewitz continued working even though he was suffering from excruciating backaches. Even though they were forced to work jobs they did not particularly enjoy, they both felt the sense of acknowledgment and gratitude from their families, Gregor with his parents and sister, and Manischewiz with his ailing wife. The sense of connection and meaningful roles seem to be their main motivation for their hard labor, Gregor especially wanted to provide for his sister, Grete Samsa, in which he has a secret plan to send her to conservatory where she could master the violin. A point of contrast of characters here are between Manischewiz and Gregor's father. Both are assumed to be at the same age and both have suffered failures in their past. For most of the stories, both men are in a depressed state, Manischewitz had lost his son at war and daughter to a useless bum while Mr. Samsa Lacked the confidence in his efforts to run a business. What is interesting here is that Manischewitz had nowhere else to go; he needed to work in order to provide for himself and his ill wife; that particular hardship may have been a blessing in disguise in the long because it instilled in him the notion of not giving up. Mr Samsa however, had the option of putting the burden onto his son, Gregor. Because of that, Mr Samsa's role in the family diminished quite a bit, he was not the provider anymore. Mr Samsa's relationship with his son never seemed that strong, in fact, Mr Samsa was not mentioned much until after he was forced to get a job in where he later seemed more animated and confident. Mr Samsa's course of action after his failed business may have unconsciously influenced Gregor’s decisions throughout the story.

Let’s start with Gregor Samsa, a hard working young man with a lot of aspiration suddenly wakes up one day only to...
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