The Metamorphosis vs. the Dead

Topics: Franz Kafka, The Dead, James Joyce Pages: 3 (802 words) Published: November 2, 2008
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The Dead by James Joyce can both be viewed as their authors’ views of sociology. The stories’ protagonists, Gregor and Gabriel, are both men of authority within their families, but experience events and circumstances that change their perspectives of the world around them. Both Franz Kafka and James Joyce employ the third-person point of view to describe and relay the situations of Gregor and Gabriel effectively.

In The Metamorphosis, Kafka uses the third person perspective to not only present his protagonist, Gregor, but also to introduce the supporting characters who affect Gregor’s mood and personality. Gregor’s introduction is blunt in delivery for its circumstances of Gregor having become an insect. Kafka takes a limited third person point of view, thus, depicting Gregor’s thoughts, actions and emotions in a descriptive tone, allowing the reader to make his or her own assumption of his situation. Kafka begins his characterization by describing Gregor’s job and its importance to the Samsa family. Gregor is portrayed as a responsible figure of authority and the sole provider for his family. When Gregor undergoes the metamorphosis, he no longer has the ability to work and becomes a burden to his family. As the story progresses, the reader witnesses Gregor fall deeper and deeper into depression, which causes him to become a recluse under the sofa in his room. “He stayed there all night, spending the time partly in a light slumber, from which his hunger kept waking him up with a start, and partly in worrying and sketching vague hopes…help the family to bear the inconvenience he was bound to cause them in his present condition” (Kafka 225). At this point, Kafka displays Gregor’s situation as temporary. Unfortunately, the situation is not temporary and does become a burden on the family, stripping Gregor of his pride and qualities that make him human. “Gregor realized that the lack of all direct human speech for...

Cited: Robert, DiYanni. Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Sixth ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2007. 225-71.
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