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Comparative Essay: Metamorphosis and Oedipus

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Shafika Taylor Per.3 IB English May 11, 2005 World Literature Assignment 1 Comparative Essay: Metamorphosis and Oedipus Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, although written in completely different time periods and by different authors, still deal with similar issues. One issue that they have in common is family relationships, how they are broken, then connected again. Gregor from Metamorphosis has a strong love for his sister and counts on her to be there for him, but when the most horrific thing happens to him, surprisingly it is his mother who cares for him more. And Oedipus, in Oedipus Rex, his mother rejects him at birth, but ironically takes him in later as her husband. Gregor and Oedipus had very different relationships with their families yet eventually or the inability to perceive reality. The relationship that Gregor and Oedipus had with their mothers shows how the position or family member's status really does matter in ones reality. "It was....a child of Laius' house."(Oedipus pg.58) ...read more.


Through this, he saw the reality of the relationships he had been exposed to all his life. The Oedipus complex is when the boy understands that he has to become just like his father to impress his mother. This occurs with Oedipus when he marries Jocasta and would of course try to be better than her last husband without knowing that it was actually his father. Both Gregor and Oedipus connect with their mothers to a great extent yet ironically spend most of their lives in a battle with their fathers and unintentionally trying to become them. Every father and son has some type of struggle at some point in their lives to see who will succeed and who is better. Oedipus and Gregor are two men who die fighting in this struggle against their fathers to find the stability in their new lives. Gregor is used by his father and his family for the income that he supplies yet when he turns into a bug his father despises him and refuses to believe that it is his son. ...read more.


He then chooses to blind himself because he killed his father and does not want to see the people he has hurt anymore. "They had just gotten used to it, the family as well as Gregor, the money was received with thanks and give with pleasure, but no special feeling of warmth went with it any more." (Metamorphosis p.27) Gregor goes through life before he turns into a bug being blind to the fact that his parents are using him and only realizes it when he turns into a bug and sees how his family all of a sudden take part in their own lives and go out and work and worry about income. The reason for Gregor�s death is that his father lodged an apple in his back and this ended up killing him. What seems most ironic about Metamorphosis is that Gregor�s last thoughts were about his parents. In conclusion Oedipus Rex and Metamorphosis are comparable on a basic level. Their family relationships were very similar and at the end, led to both of Gregor�s and Oedipus' downfall. This shows that the theme of family relationship is a common and possibly, an important theme. ...read more.

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