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The Human vs. Society

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The Human vs. Society A former English professor once told me, "Literature must be used as an agent for change in society, not only admired for its aesthetic beauty." In truth, society itself has come to be a very determinant force in the world today. Several individuals believe it to be an embodiment of power and therefore follow its every change and alteration, ranging from values and morals, to what becomes trendy and chic. Albeit this may sound clich´┐Ż, an individual's role in society is emphasized as being able to function effectively. Society is often times abashing and one can easily get lost in the swirl of it all. This is why the majority of individuals choose to conform to the expectations that society has set forth for them. When reading literature of an esoteric nature that deals with society and unusual circumstances such as physical/mental imprisonment, confinement, alienation, paralysis, all synonyms with the same meaning, it is important to discern the poignant reasons that have caused these individuals or groups to end up in these situations. ...read more.


Franz Kafka, one of the pioneers of modernist literature, wanted to jolt the readers of this story out of their complacency. His goal was to show the readers through his literary works, the true colors-- the reality of society. When Gregor was no longer useful to his family or his work, he remained in isolation in his room not being able to participate in any social interaction, he was imprisoned. Throughout the novella, Gregor's spirit of life diminishes until ultimately death is his only salivation. Due to the confinement in his room, he no longer feels that he has anymore incentive to continue on living. His relationships with all have ended, his dreams and aspirations destroyed, and inevitably he feels as though he has become a heavy burden for his family to bear. Through The Metamorphosis, Kafka wanted to focus on a disjointed condition and how man responds to such a situation, bearing in mind the moors of society du jour. ...read more.


The readers witness Holden go down an emotional / psychological spiral. The theme of adolescence also ties in very closely with his alienation from society. As Holden had grown up for the majority of his life in boarding schools, growing up in a society that does not provide one with stability and values to youth on the verge of adulthood, can be extremely detrimental to a sensitive individual. Albeit at times society can seem to have binding regulations, its positive attributes should also be recognized. Societies have existed for civilizations and nowadays, humans are compelled to interact, to communicate, and to unite. In regard to the novels discussed, the main characters felt imprisoned, confined, or even paralyzed by society in each of their distinct ways. Although written in completely distinct times, however ironic it may be, the fate of the two individuals concerned was identical and that fate was death. Total Word Count: 822 1 1 ...read more.

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