The Metamorphosis/the Kiss

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The Metamorphosis/the Kiss

By | November 2012
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Gregor, of Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” and Ryabovitch, of Anton Chekhov’s “The Kiss” are protagonists whom suffer from severely agitated emotional states that are the result of their respective personality traits and of specific life events that cause both men to experience extreme direst and anxiety. Gregor and Ryabovitch share equal responsibility for the disquieted emotional state they find themselves in. At the beginning of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” Gregor awakens one morning to discover that he's become an “enormous insect” (293). As he attempts to come to terms with his new body, he remembers that he's late for his job as a traveling salesman. Shortly thereafter, the audience gets a first glimpse of Gregor’s depleting emotional state as he begins to lament the difficulty of his job: …what a demanding job I’ve chosen! Day in, day out, on the road. The stresses of selling are much greater than the actual work going on at head office, and, in addition to that, I still have to cope with the problems of travelling, the worries about train connections, irregular bad food, temporary and constantly changing human relationships, which never come from the heart. To hell with it all! (Kafka 394)

Gregor is not only unhappy in his job, but also responsible for supporting his mother, father, and sister, something that causes him great stress. He is dissatisfied with his job and fed up with supporting his family to which he harbors resentment, a factor that is contributing to his shrinking emotional state: If I didn’t hold back for my parents’ sake, I’d have quit ages ago. I would’ve gone to the boss and told him just what I think from the bottom of my heart. He would’ve fallen right off his desk! How weird it is to sit up at that desk and talk down to the employee from way up there. What’s more, the boss has trouble hearing, so the employee has to step up quite close to him. Anyway, I haven’t completely given up that hope yet. Once I’ve got...

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