Franz Kafka Essay - Robert J. England II HON 212 Section...

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Robert J. England II HON 212 Section 007 Edith Elwood Kafka/Duchamp Response Wednesday, February 21, 2007 From the early years of the 20 th century, many people have noted that the normal world, the one known realm of “reality,” hardly made sense anymore. As the first of the world wars gripped the globe, a number of philosophies arose, claiming that even concepts regarded as real and rational were absurd when closely observed, and that the true nature of reality lies within the subconscious mind. The ideas of absurdism and surrealism permeated the world, and found themselves applicable in the writings and artworks of the age. Two important, and very famous, individuals from this period are the writer Franz Kafka and the artist Marcel Duchamp. The works of people such as Kafka and Duchamp is widely regarded to be absurd to a certain point; but for these two artists, the absurd, the surreal, and the unusual could generally be found more easily in the common and mundane aspects of everyday life. Franz Kafka was an absurdist/surrealist writer who tended to think outside the lines of traditional novels/short stories. His best-known example, The Metamorphosis , is a tale about a man's life after he is suddenly and without explanation turned into a giant insect, an event that seems totally absurd, as though from a dream. Gregor, the lead character, found himself in the surreal situation of being an insect; the rest of his family felt the absurdity of having a giant insect for a family member. Even the actions of the characters in the stories are, to a point, surreal; everyone in The Metamorphosis at some time in the story makes decisions that seem to be unconscious and unconsidered. The
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This essay was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HON 212 taught by Professor Elwood during the Spring '07 term at University of Maine Orono .

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Franz Kafka Essay - Robert J. England II HON 212 Section...

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