Free Reaction Paper Literature Reviews
One of the prominent stories written in the style of expressionism is a novel of Franz Kafka “The Metamorphosis”. The story embodies all the outstanding features of this modern trend in the world literature. The author does not try to point out the vices of the society but gives us the hints hiding them in grotesque and exaltation.
“The Death of Ivan Ilych” by Leo Tolstoy describes similar changes of an ordinary man. But, unlike the novel of Franz Kafka, this literary work does not exaggerate the state of a person by transforming him into an insect-like creature. The common feature of both stories is the fact of an inevitable and unexpected change of the main characters. The authors of both works try to show how the attitude of the society can change towards a man after he has undergone some metamorphosis. The egoism of people is described in an indirect way, for example, by showing Ivan Ilych’s colleagues who desire to take his office the very day when they are informed of his death.
It was difficult to choose only one particular episode of Franz Kafka’s novel, because every sentence of this story contains important and disputable information. To my mind, the most important scene in “The Metamorphosis” is the beginning of the story when Gregor Samsa realizes that he is not a human being any more. As a reader, I always try to put myself into somebody’s shoes in order to observe a situation from a different point of view.
In this case I endeavored to understand what I would feel after having waked up being a giant bug. The first emotion that I experienced was panic. It was caused by the fact that an ordinary person, who had had particular plans for his life, was helpless in his new body. There was a burning hope it my heart, that it was just a dream, a terrible nightmare. And I believed that everything would change with the lapse of time. But it did not happen.
When I managed to overcome the panic, my mind was filled with fear. Nothing could be more awesome than the state of helplessness. No matter how his family loved and appreciated Gregor, he would never want to be a burden for them. The fear was later replaced by the feeling of disgust. Franz Kafka managed to describe this morning change in such a way that the reader thought there could not be any other creature that would look more disgusting than the main character.
Another emotion comes with the deep understanding of the matter. As I realized that Gregor would never be the same person he had always been, I felt pity for him. It is typical for human beings to sympathize with somebody. That is why I wanted him to become an ordinary man again, although I realized that it would never happen.
The other episode of the story, that is as important as the first one, is the last scene. When the family that had always been everything for Gregor got rid of him, all of them felt relief and delight. Although this part does not contain any description of a giant bug, it is the most disgusting scene, anyway. As a reader, I despised and hated all these human beings who had turned out to be less human that the awful creature Gregor Samsa. This episode reminded me of many people in our modern society who abandoned their injured relatives and friends considering them to be a burden.
Thus, both literary works depict significant problems of the mankind. The fact the authors do not indicate them directly, but hide them under the mask of expressionism, makes the stories more precious.
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