Essay about Comparing Death in Araby and The Metamorphosis

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Death in Araby and The Metamorphosis

Many readers have commented on the contrast of light and darkness in the story Araby by James Joyce. Perhaps the death of the priest in Araby adds to the "darkness" that the boy experiences when he is thinking about Mangan's sister, as contrasted with the light he experiences when he is actually in her presence.

It is interesting that the death of the priest does not become so "dark" until Mangan's sister is introduced. In the first scene where the boy visits the priest's old room, he rummages around and finds some treasures, including "paper-covered books," and "the late tenant's rusty bicycle pump." There is no sense of gloom here, in fact, the boy seems to be having fun exploring
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Whatever his reason was for going there, the element of the dead priest in this story definitely adds to the feeling that the boy's crush has taken on a religious significance. It also shows how the crush has changed the boy's outlook on life. The boy's friends and their games have become distant, his school work has become unimportant, and the dead priest's room has become much more than a place to play.

In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, we have the strange circumstance that Gregor's death actually brings life to his family. One could say that Gregor actually "dies" twice in this story, once when he turns into a bug, and again when the bug dies. When Gregor turns into a bug he can do none of the things the old Gregor did, and the old Gregor essentially vanishes from the scene.

We are presented with the ironic situation that Gregor was working so hard for the benefit of his family, but they are actually better off when he is taken out of service. Gregor's father perks up and gets a job, and the whole family starts doing something with their lives only when Gregor stops doing it for them.

I think it begins to dawn on Gregor that he isn't really needed as he watches this happen, and this is a huge blow to him. The story says that Gregor got to the point where he "hardly slept by night or by day," and "was now eating hardly anything." At first Gregor thinks maybe isn't eating because of "chagrin over the

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