William Faulkner & Franz Kafka Essay

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Her persona and life have become dependent on what other people said about her, and she was not given the chance in the story to assert her true self. Thus, through the third-person voice, Faulkner showed how Emily had been and continued to be suppressed by her society, being a deviant single woman who kept to herself rather than mingle with her neighbors. Despite Emily's defiance to the community's norms, she was still victimized by the people's intolerance to her being different. Even after her death, the image of her as a scorned woman-turned-murderer remained, all on the basis of a member of the community's narrative (the third-person voice/narrator).

"Metamorphosis," meanwhile, presented the depiction of the individual who wanted to assert himself/herself in a society governed by fixed norms and rules throughout many centuries. Gregor Samsa, who had shown exhaustion from working and supporting his family, was able to assert himself by transforming himself into an insect. As an insect, he was unable to communicate with his family -- and worse, he was unable to go to work and earn money to maintain the lifestyle that his family has. This incident is an ironic occurrence in the story: Gregor was only able to assert himself by rendering himself 'incommunicado' or incapable of communicating, with his family.
Speaking the language not of people but of insects, he got what he wanted, only at the cost of being misunderstood and eventually, isolated and neglected, by his own family.

Unlike Emily, Gregor's death was not a mystery to the readers. While Emily's community detested her individuality and continued treating her like a deviant up until her death, Gregor in his death was able to create a change to his family. Upon his death, his family realized that they should work together and try to live a simpler life than what they used to have when Gregor was still human and alive. Moreover, they were now able to accept Gregor's metamorphosis, his choice to unload himself of the responsibilities that his family forced on him. The feeling that he made the right choice in his life -- that is, to assert himself and his wants in life -- was reflected in his last thoughts as a human-insect: "He remained in this state of empty and peaceful reflection until the tower clock struck three o'clock in the morning. From the window he witnessed the beginning of the general dawning outside.".....

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