Absurdity in “The Metamorphosis” and “The Stranger”
The Evolution by simply Franz Kafka and even Typically the Stranger by Albert Camus is both existential works that check out the themes involving alienation, emotional distance and the coming across absurdity of typically the human condition. Typically the main theme involving both stories is definitely the proven fact that typically the world is screaming and that typically the norms of culture and the situations that happen on the globe are arbitrary.
The similarity involving the two runs may not always be coincidental, Kafka is definitely one of typically the major influences on the subject of Camus’s work. Throughout his critical dissertation on Kafka, called ‘Hope and typically the Absurd in typically the Work of Franz Kafka’, Camus features this to mention relating to Typically the Metamorphosis :
“Metamorphosis, throughout turn, certainly presents the horrible image of an ethic of lucidity. Although it is likewise typically the product of of which incalculable amazement male feels at staying alert to the animal he becomes faultlessly. In this particular fundamental double entendre lies Kafka’s top secret. The perpetual sways between your natural and even the extraordinary, typically the individual and typically the universal, the sad each day, typically the absurd and typically the logical, are simply during his work and even give it equally resonance and message. These are typically the paradoxes that need to be enumerated, typically the contradictions that have got to be strengthened, to be able to understand the silly work (Camus, Expect, and the Screaming inside the Work involving Franz Kafka). ”
Throughout Typically the Metamorphosis this arbitrariness and even absurdity of typically the world are resembled in an inconcebible, instantaneous, and irreparable process that is definitely beyond the protagonist’s control and entirely alters his living. In The Stranger the protagonist’s actions are definitely the key source of drollery; he commits unnecessary acts of rudeness and immorality sense no remorse or perhaps guilt upon the actions.
Gregor Samsa, typically the protagonist of The Evolution receives suddenly and inexplicably turned into some sort of large dung beetle. He grows insect pest legs and antennae, his back curl up fantastic abdomen gets covered using lots of little bit of white spots (Kafka).
Samsa can be a traveling jeweler and, at typically the beginning of typically the story, the only breadwinner of the household. He hates the position but is powerless to let it stay mainly because of a credit card debt his parents had taken from his supervisor. His manager by the workplace gets into over to make inquiries about his deficiency. Samsa’s struggles to advance out of cargo area and to make clear himself to typically the manager are defined in tedious depth. Samsa’s main sentiment is not horror with being turned straight into an insect, they does not imagine possible ways to be able to turn himself backside into human kind nor does they dwell on precisely how he got converted into an insect, quite his first worry is about the job. He anxieties he would certainly not be allowed to be able to retain his task in this particular state (Kafka).
Samsa considers his evolution into an insect pest along with the attendant issues that can come upon him or her resulting from this transform as mere problems. Inside the aftermath involving being converted into some sort of dung beetle, typically the only thing of which greatly disturbs Samsa is his expertise that his supervisor would probably turn out to be extremely cross using him for absent every day of operate (Kafka).
Samsa’s is certainly not shown to be involved about how the metamorphosis took spot or perhaps the possibility of which it may be solved, they are more worried about with hiding Gregor from the sight more (Kafka).
Typically the Stranger provides a direct and even impacts laden start, comparable to that involving Typically the Metamorphosis . Throughout the very commencing the protagonist Meursault, an individual office attendant moving into French-occupied Algiers, is informed involving his mother’s collapse. Like Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis, Meursault is certainly also struggling to expertise emotions which might be predicted from a man or woman in his instances. Meursault is certainly not sad with the passing away of his mommy. He attends typically the funeral and nonchalantly drinks coffee and even smokes inside the get up, in the occurrence of his mums body (Camus, Typically the Stranger).
A few days and nights later she has the encounter which has a former colleague named Jessica and embarks in a sexual romantic relationship with her. Generally there is little mental interaction between Jessica and Meursault and even the relationship, at the least on Meursault’s area seems to get entirely physical and even based on making love with no more deeply emotional aspect to be able to it. Neither Meursault and nor Jessica is much worried with the simple fact that Meursault’s mommy has died just lately (Camus, The Stranger).
After Meursault assists some sort of neighbor Raymond, some sort of pimp, in attacking his girlfriend, some sort of “Moorish girl” by simply writing her some sort of letter luring your ex back to Raymond’s place. Meursault states no concern to the physical harm Raymond would visit after the girl using his assistance. If Raymond is consumed to court intended for assault, Meursault testifies that the girl cheated on Raymond that enables the neighbour to flee without treatment. Since Meursault features no definitive expertise of whether typically the girl cheated in Raymond or certainly not, his testimony is definitely another manifestation involving his irrationality. (Camus, The Stranger).
Meursault and even Raymond are well then followed around by Moorish girl’s close friend and his Arabic friend. In some sort of wordless encounter in the beach, Meursault shoots and gets rid of the Arab following your Arab, lying in the back on typically the beach, flashes the knife at him or her showing him of which he is informed (Camus, The Stranger).
Meursault’s reasons for getting rid of the man is definitely not one which they feared how the male would utilize cutting knife against him, quite he felt of which if he went away from typically the man the full matter would be above. In his inside dialogue with him self, Meursault blames typically the oppressive heat involving the Algerian beachfront for driving him or her to commit tough (Camus, The Stranger).
Meursault’s manner of firing the man is definitely also strange, they are not fulfilled with shooting typically the man once and killing him, rather he fires at the man’s dead body multiple times even though he knows that the man has already passed away (Camus, The Stranger).
Meursault is arrested for the murder of the Arab and faces a bizarre trial. At the trial, the prosecution’s case against him rests mainly on the fact that he failed to show any sadness at the death of his mother. According to the prosecution, it is this inability to grieve for his mother that establishes Meursault as an inhuman friend who deserves to be put to death (Camus, The Stranger).
Meursault is eventually sent to the guillotine for the murder, the case against him having absurdly rested on the fact that he showed no sadness at the death of his mother. Meursault considers the murder he committed to having been a mere nuisance and an inconvenience to him (Camus, The Stranger).
The Metamorphosis and The Stranger both depict a world with arbitrary rules and events. According to the view of the world presented in these stories, the world is absurd and unconcerned with how an individual behaves. The world neither rewards good and nor punishes evil. Gregor Samsa the dutiful son, loving brother, and hardworking employee are transformed into a monster. Meursault, who helps a criminal in committing violence against a young woman and then testifies against her and later kills someone without justification, is punished, not for these actions, but for failing to grieve for his mother. According to the view presented in the two stories, this absurd world ends for everyone with their deaths, and thus for a person, committing good or committing evil both amount to the same thing.
Camus, Albert. “Hope and the Absurd in the Work of Franz Kafka. ” Camus, Albert. The myth of Sisyphus, and other essays. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1991. 77-86.
—. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. Broadview Heights, OH: Wheeler Publishing, 2001.
Kafka, Franz. “The Metamorphosis. ” The Metamorphosis and Other Stories. Trans. Joyce C