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Kafka vs Gogol Crossing of the Boundaries in The Metamorphosis and The Nose: a Comparative Analysis.

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Introduction

Crossing of the Boundaries in "The Metamorphosis" and "The Nose": a Comparative Analysis. Awaking to a brutal change in their lives, the protagonists of "The Metamorphosis" and "The Nose", written by Franz Kafka and Nikolai Gogol, reveal the most intimate features of their identities. There are boundaries that they cross; there are some others that they don't. Through surreal stories, the authors uncover the unkind reality hidden in the everyday routine. Under the stress of the cross physical transformation, the protagonists of "The Metamorphosis" and "The Nose� experience revelation, which in turn leads to them traversing their mental boundaries and crystalizes their virtues and vices. In both of the novels, the protagonists experience severe physical transformation, which makes an adverse impact on their social status and their way of life. Prior to his transformation into a bug, Gregor is a humble slave of the circumstances created by his family, work, his colleagues and his boss. Gregor never gives a thought to anything beyond this narrow context. During the course of the novel he never thinks about himself and devotes his life wholeheartedly to his family. "What a quiet life the family leads," Gregor said to himself, and while he stared ahead into the darkness, he felt ...read more.

Middle

Despite the unexpected truth, Gregor quietly remains in the boundaries of his decency, even at the face of death. On the contrary, Major Kovalev faces his dilemma in a most serious manner: he investigates the posts classified ads and he complains aloud. There is no moment in the novel when he stays inactive. He does not accept his destiny and is ready to make use of whatever means are available to him in order to return his nose. With every step, Major Kovalev reveals what are the true values for him: not love, but a lucky marriage; not work, but a successful career; not close relations with friends and family, but formal social status: "Of course-er-you see-I-I am a major... according to the rules of duty and honor er-you can understand yourself"(Gogol 210.) Without realizing it, he crosses the boundaries of decency and reveals himself as a man without true human values by his erratic behavior. Through the context of absurdity and grotesque we learn about the protagonists in a short period of time much more than in normal circumstances, and can now see how different these characters are. ...read more.

Conclusion

He will continue to live as he sleeps and sleep as he lives. Thus this represents the key difference in the two novels. For Gregor and Kovalev, the ultimate transformation occurs to a dramtically different extent: Gregor awakes to reality, does not sustain it and perishes. On the contrary, Major Kovalev continues to "sleep" unshaken by his surreal transformation. In this sense, crossing the boundary for Gregor is far more severe than for Kovalev in both physical and mental sense. Yet Gregor remains within the boundaries of his decency. On the other hand, Major Kovalyov is kindly left within his customary realm; his sufferings continue for a short period of time and don't leave any marks on his life. In this short period he reveals his true identity and does not cross boundaries of his usual behavior. For Gregor's revelation amounts to epifany; for Kovalev it is a revelation of his character. In conclusion, evaluating the final arguments, it can be said that most often, in order to comprehend the distorted system of modern human values, one must be put in a paranormal context, outside of the everyday life. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 Karimov Timur Karimov Karimov 1 Professor Katie Lyford IB English A1 SL, Block B 1 May 2012 ...read more.

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