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Thread: A Common Theme Between Camus' The Stranger and Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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    A Common Theme Between Camus' The Stranger and Kafka's The Metamorphosis

    Hello avid readers,

    I am writing a paper explaining any common links between Camus' The Stranger and Kafka's The Metamorphosis. The link does not need to be a similarity but needs to be present or absent in some form or another between the two novels. This is for a final paper for my current Junior year in High School.

    I have chosen to talk about the Evolving aspect of identity in the character of Meursault in Camus' The Stranger and the devolving identity in Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

    By evolving identity I am referring to how in part one of The Stranger, Meursault is basically an empty slate. He does not give himself or the reader an identity that is clear. The reader must create an identity for Meursault based on what they feel. Part two of the novel clearly shows that Mersault has depth to him and does have insights.

    The Metamorphosis devolving identity idea starts with how Gregor Samsa doesn't turn into something to be admired but into a "vermin." As the novel progresses he doesn't try to explain why he has turned into this monstrous animal but slowly accepts it (will have text to prove) and dies with the idea that he is a vermin. There is n progression in the character of Gregor Samsa.

    With a common theme I can link them easier and produce a more stable paper.

    Thanks

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    Skol'er of Thinkery The Comedian's Avatar
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    One thing that jumps out to me is that each protagonist appears to be non-human. Meursault's extreme stoicism. . . which boarders on cruelty and Gregor's transformation. Of course Gregor strives for human normalcy despite his condition and Meursault. . .doesn't.
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    A common theme could be existentialism- w/ the Metamorphosis establishing a sub-human reason for existence in the literal sense & the Stranger dealing w/ a reason for existence for a more metaphorical sub-human circumstance.
    http://unidentifiedappellation.blogspot.com/

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    Registered User sixsmith's Avatar
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    The Myth of Sisyphus contains an appendix entitled 'Hope and the absurd in the work of Franz Kafka'. Check it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsmith View Post
    The Myth of Sisyphus contains an appendix entitled 'Hope and the absurd in the work of Franz Kafka'. Check it out.
    perhaps you could enlighten me regarding this section of the Myth of Sisyphus. I have read it but a print out copy therefore I have no book or text regarding the myth.

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    Registered User Babak Movahed's Avatar
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    hmm interesting take on the two works but I don't entirely agree with your view on Meursault. He isn't really a character who is evolving but more so a character that doesn't see the point in voicing his thoughts on things. The apathy he feels toward everyone around him in the first part of the story is a reflection of his apathy towards the society he lives in. When his mother dies or his friends need anything from him he doesn't seem like he really cares about what they ask of him or what they feel, having an overall indifferent attitude toward social life.

    If I were you I would try to take a formalist view of the works. Kafka and Camus utilized very distinct stylistic techniques to create meaning. I would first and foremost examine sentence structure of their works. Since both works were fairly short the writers create passages with a lot of explication followed with a short lines that have a lot of meaning it them. Also look at the influence of light and dark in The Stranger and Gregor's feelings in certain parts of the room.

    Good luck on the assignment

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    hello dear i became interested in what you said would you explain it more because.

    Quote Originally Posted by a193 View Post
    Hello avid readers,

    I am writing a paper explaining any common links between Camus' The Stranger and Kafka's The Metamorphosis. The link does not need to be a similarity but needs to be present or absent in some form or another between the two novels. This is for a final paper for my current Junior year in High School.

    I have chosen to talk about the Evolving aspect of identity in the character of Meursault in Camus' The Stranger and the devolving identity in Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

    By evolving identity I am referring to how in part one of The Stranger, Meursault is basically an empty slate. He does not give himself or the reader an identity that is clear. The reader must create an identity for Meursault based on what they feel. Part two of the novel clearly shows that Mersault has depth to him and does have insights.

    The Metamorphosis devolving identity idea starts with how Gregor Samsa doesn't turn into something to be admired but into a "vermin." As the novel progresses he doesn't try to explain why he has turned into this monstrous animal but slowly accepts it (will have text to prove) and dies with the idea that he is a vermin. There is n progression in the character of Gregor Samsa.

    With a common theme I can link them easier and produce a more stable paper.

    Thanks
    hello dear

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    dear a193 i got a proposal to write about resemblances between kafka and camus and your point of view could help me more in doing this. i need some help

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    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a193 View Post
    I am writing a paper explaining any common links between Camus' The Stranger and Kafka's The Metamorphosis.
    The two have in common an infinite pointlessness. Meursault perceives no enduring point in anything: Gregor Samsa's moment-by-moment experience seems manifestly to confirm it.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

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    Alienation.

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