The Superman and the Vermin

The Superman and the Vermin - Cason 1 Andrew Cason English...

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Cason 1 Andrew Cason English 205 Prof. Gordon April 18, 2008 The Superman and the Vermin When exploring patterns of freedom and order within world literature it is important to note two of the most influential pieces of German literature: the epic drama “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang Goethe and the modern novella “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. With in the two works there is a pattern of radical unbalance between the forces of order and freedom embodied by the main characters; the vermin named Gregor, from Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” is an very ordinary man who is victim of his own and his family’s perverse order; and Goethe creates Faust as an extraordinary individual, a “superman” states Gottfried Merkel, who is a victim of his ungodly freedom and lack of restraint. The authors make it apparent that these characters are archetypes of freedom and order; and observing how these character archetypes cause similar conflicts within the plots and the personal desires and the fulfillment of those desires, illustrates the need for balance between freedom and order. Gregor is obsessed with order; this is shown in his desires and the lack of fulfilling those desires. Gregor is insistent on being the bread winner of the family and replacing his father’s position of the patriarchal head of the family. He is exceedingly controlling over the members of his family. He reminisces about sending his sister Grete to the conservatory with or without his parent’s consent: he says he “had the firm intention of sending her to the Conservatory, and that,
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Cason 2 if the catastrophe had not intervened, he would have announced this to everyone last Christmas… without taking notice of any objections.” Gregor, in a sense, wants to be the ‘superman’ of the family but not in the sense of Faust. He desires to bring harmony and order within the family by providing for them intern becoming their hero, some one to be admired and respected. J. Brooks Brouson explains Gregor’s desires in a psychological sense, in his essay entitled “The Narcissistic Drama and Reader/Text Transaction in Kafka’s Metamorphosis ,” “as a consequence,” he further explains that “such an individual lacks the inner resources of healthy narcissism: sustaining self-esteem and inner ideals. Instead he is dominated by the regressive needs of the ‘archaic grandiose self,’ which perceives itself as omnipotent, the center of attention and in control of others.” This desire can be cited in the description of a photograph of him as a lieutenant in the army: “his hand on his sword, a carefree smile on his lips, demanding respect
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ENGL 205 taught by Professor Gordon during the Spring '08 term at Christopher Newport University.

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The Superman and the Vermin - Cason 1 Andrew Cason English...

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