The Nature of Life

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The Nature of Life
Are we controlling our own lives, steering it in the direction that we have pointed out? People tend to believe that we are, and that the road in front is straight and steady. We misjudge the obstacles placed on the course intended to throw us off. The fact is we should not expect life to be rational. Anything can happen when we’re out on the road of life, and learning to expect the unexpected is the key to staying on track. Accidents do happen, and only so much of our lives can be held onto when something like this does occur.

“A Report to an Academy” by Franz Kafka shows how ones’ life is turned in the opposite direction. Red Peter, a former ape, was captured, stating, “For the first time in my life I had no way out” (Kafka 83). Knowing that he only had a little chance of surviving to have some freedom, Peter managed to adapt the human lifestyle. His close observation of the crewmembers and other humans allowed him to imitate them. Having become human enough, he was able to stay out of the zoo and perform as an ape-turned-human on the vaudeville stage. At the end of the road, Peter was able to steer clear and continue his life, although not in the same way as he had started it. As he explains to his audience, “All in all, I have achieved what I wanted to achieve. Let nobody say that it wasn’t worth the trouble” (Kafka 88).

Another story by Kafka, The Metamorphosis, shows a more dramatic twist in ones; journey in life. Gregor, a traveling salesman, transforms into a monstrous vermin (3). He, for sure, did not see this roadblock coming. The change took place overnight, an unanticipated time considering that Gregor was sound asleep. This irrational happening was uncontrollable with the fact that the harm has been done by the time Gregor had woken up, “ What’s happened to me?” (Kafka 3). He even thought that it might have been a dream, stating “How about going back to sleep for a few minutes and forgetting all this nonsense?” (Kafka 3)....
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