worldliteratureone revised[1]

worldliteratureone revised[1] - Transition from...

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Transition from Independence to Dependence of Gregor in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and Meursault in Camus’ The Stranger A transition from independence to dependence in a person implies an immense alteration in that individual's psychology. This is precisely what occurs in the lives of Meursault in Camus’ The Stranger and Gregor in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis . Although set in distinguished eras and countries, both Camus and Kafka effect a change in their main character’s personality in regards to autonomy versus reliance on others. Through life-altering events in both Gregor and Meursault’s lives, the characters undergo a shift in personality from independence to dependence, ultimately influencing their very existence. In Gregor’s case, the event that causes his transformation is literally life-altering. After he awakens one morning mysteriously transformed into a “monstrous vermin,” his life dramatically changes (Kafka 3). Before his unexplainable transformation, Gregor leads a stable life in which he independently supports his family through his earnings as a traveling salesman. He “earn[s] enough money to meet the expenses of his entire family,” and his income is turned into “hard cash that [can] be plunked down on the table at home in front of his astonished and delighted family” (Kafka 26). In fact, his independence through his job is further shown through the veracity of his thoughts after his transformations, which are geared towards his job security. Gregor dislikes his job, in which he suffers the “torture of traveling, worrying about changing trains, [and] eating miserable food at all hours” (Kafka 4). He says “if [he] didn’t hold back for [his] parents’ sake, [he] would have quit long ago” (Kafka 4). Thus, despite his hardships, Gregor continues singlehandedly providing for his family so that his income can grant them with the necessities and comforts of life, and it is this privation that makes him independent before his transformation. The event that causes Meursault’s shift from independence to dependence is not
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as extreme as Gregor’s transformation. It is the result of Meursault’s own actions, as opposed to the unexplainable phenomenon that causes Gregor’s shift. The occurrence unfolds on a hot day on a beach near the outskirts of Algiers, where “the sun was shining almost directly overhead onto the sand, and the glare on the water was unbearable”
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2011 for the course CHM 2051 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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worldliteratureone revised[1] - Transition from...

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