• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Comparison of the Narrative Structure of ‘The Outsider’ (Camus) and ‘Metamorphosis’ (Kafka)

Extracts from this document...


A Comparison of the Narrative Structure of 'The Outsider' (Camus) and 'Metamorphosis' (Kafka) Narrative structure is an important element in every book written, it contributes to both layers of meaning and the readability of the book. Through this essay I will explore the narrative structure of Metamorphosis and The Outsider and the layers of meaning that it adds to these two books. The Outsider is carefully and formally organised. The two main parts of the novel are of equal length. Death is a central motif; at the beginning there is the mother's death, in the centre that of the Arab and at the end Meursault himself is awaiting execution. Each of these deaths affects Meursault in a different way. Although the first is the death of his own mother he appears to show no emotion and to have no experience of how to show emotion. At the second death, the murder of the Arab, he also shows very little emotion, he believes the case to be 'very simple' and he has to remind himself continuously that he is a murderer, 'On my way out I was even going to shake his hand, but I remembered just in time that I'd killed a man.' ...read more.


Have you got everything you want?' We stopped talking and Marie went on smiling.' Many events occurring in Part I are premonitions of events in Part II. During the vigil after his mother's death, to which ten 'inmates' of the old people's home come, Meursault has 'An absurd impression that they have come to sit in judgement' of him. The corresponding event in Part II is Meursault's experience in court, when he is really being judged for his behaviour at the vigil and his reaction to his mother's death. The residents in the home are referred to as inmates; this is a link to Meursault's later experience in prison. The events in Part I become elements in the trial in Part II. In Part I we hear of the events recorded in the first person, in the style of a diary; we are shown reality as it occurs. Part II shows us how human reason tries to reinterpret this reality. The calmness present at the beginning of each part contrasts greatly with the emotion of the murder scene and Meursault's outburst against the chaplain: 'something exploded inside me. I started shouting at the top of my voice and I insulted him.' ...read more.


example, it has brought them closer together, 'Mr Samsa appeared in his uniform, his wife on one arm and his daughter on the other. They all looked a little as if they had been crying.' Grete has grown 'into a pretty girl with a good figure'. Her family and society have imprisoned her but now she feels herself free, 'Their daughter sprang to her feet and stretched her young body' Adjectives used in this chapter, for example, 'excellent', 'good', and 'quieter' express the mood of the product of the changes that have taken place in the Samsa family: these contrast strikingly with the adjectives used at the beginning of the novel, for example, 'uneasy', 'gigantic' and 'hard', which expressed the dissatisfaction and discontentedness of the family. The three-part structure of Metamorphoses highlights the theme of change. The two-part structure of The Outsider emphasises what happens to reality when human reason tries to reinterpret it, this is one of Camus messages. To conclude narrative structure is an integral element to every piece of writing; it is the writer's tool to manipulate the reader's impression of the characters, situation and generally aid understanding. Word Count - 1497 ?? ?? ?? ?? Sarah Cheffings World lit.1 IB English H Candidate no. 06950009 - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Albert Camus section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Albert Camus essays


    Either way you lose out, yet you cannot avoid both of the outcomes. To stick with the physical world of society and the sun, or to escape through the spiritual world in the church, away from the sun, are the only choices available.

  2. The role of judgement in The OutsiderThe actions of Meursault, the protagonist in The ...

    To judge upon someone as being the most hardened soul one has ever encountered is very much a judgement made in terms of Christianity. The word soul clearly evokes the notion of a metaphysical world, since after all it is the soul, which rises to heavens or goes to hell after death according to Christianity.

  1. Explore how the writers use the technique of defamiliarisation to reveal hidden truths about ...

    A Marxist interpretation suggests that as a human being, we need a purpose in life and individual 'happiness' is often found through utility. Gregor's family rewards his usefulness through love and affection and these feelings put him into a "state of vacant and peaceful contemplation" 4 Before he dies however,

  2. The Outsider is a critique to society through the eyes of a person immune ...

    With this sentence one can realize how much people are judged through their actions that are related to society. With these two examples, Albert Camus criticizes the way a person must adapt to society to be accepted. And in the case of Meursault, if you don't do what is expected, you get excluded and even punished from society.

  1. The main character's relationship with others in Albert Camus 'The Outsider' and Franz Kafka's ...

    future was at stake, and he wanted to get out of imprisonment. Meursault's lawyer is another character who urged him to be silent and to act as he told him to; whereas the Magistrate wanted to get facts out of him.

  2. This is the commentary on the book "The Outsider" written by Albert Camus. I ...

    Monsieur Meursault is the central character in the novel. He is emotionless and a careless person; society sees him as an outsider or even a monster. Even though he is honest and as a character he is both disturbing and fascinating.

  1. English World Literature Essay

    When he arrives at the rest home, he says that he would rather not see his mother's body. Meursault knew this was not the right thing to say but as I mentioned before he is unable to lie, he refuses to hide his feelings and will never express them as more than they are.

  2. “The outsider” - By Albert Camus

    Thus he only attended the funeral to confirm his doubts about the telegram. "For the moment it's almost as if Mother is still alive. After the funeral though, the death will be a classified fact and the whole thing will have assumed a more official aura" Meursault's mother was not

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work