The Nose and Metamorphosis

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In the novels, “The Nose”, and The Metamorphosis Gogol, and Kafka demonstrates how identity does not depend on what society depicts you to be, it’s whatever you (as a sole proprietor of your life) decide what and who you are, they both portray this idea by transforming their protagonists into what society sought them to be, to see how they would react. In response to this idealistic concept the authors use their protagonists to convey this “Hidden” concept by putting them through a situation in which, it causes them to see what society really sees them as. Continuing on this concept the authors imply that the protagonist’s transformations directly correspond to their identities.

In Gogol’s novel, “The Nose” the protagonist Kovalev loses his nose, Kovalev, being a collegiate assessor has to know everything about everyone so, when Gogol writes, “He wished to look at the pimple that had popped out on his nose the previous evening; but to his greatest amazement, he saw that instead of a nose he had a perfectly smooth place!”(Gogol/304) it shows that Kovalev lost his nose, and it also portrays that Kovalev without his nose, he cannot do his job because it requires him to “stick his nose into other peoples businesses’”. The way he uses his interrogative speech comes to question his (Kovalev’s) view on societal indifference.

In Kafka’s novel The Metamorphosis, the protagonist Gregor transforms into a cockroach, Gregor, being a traveling salesman, is being compared and shown as a cockroach because that is what society is making him be treated like. In this quote Kafka writes as if Gregor already knows that he is a cockroach at heart.

“Oh God”, he thought, “what a strenuous career it is that I have chosen! Traveling day in and day out. Doing business at home, and on top of that there’s the curse of traveling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or...
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