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Magical Realism In The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

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Magical realism is a genre of writing that uses the aspects transformation of the common, and distortion of time or identity to exemplify reality as defined in the article “What is Magical Realism, Really?” Stories often combine magical realism with other literary genres such as absurdist fiction, which focuses on the individual dealing with a purposeless life represented by meaningless actions. “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka cannot be categorized only as magical realism, but as a combination of both absurdist fiction and magical realism, which is different from stories that are purely categorized as magical realism such as “Axolotl.”
“The Metamorphosis” is rarely considered as magical realism because of its absurdist fiction properties, but its use of the magical realism aspects, transformation of the common and distortion of identity, similar to the use in “Axolotl,” makes it part of the magical realism genre. The use of absurdist fiction does not mean that there are no traits of magical realism found in the story. Gregor Samsa “finds himself transformed into gigantic insect”(Kafka 89) one morning, something that cannot happen. He was just a normal person with an “exhausting job…traveling about day in, day out ”(89). Gregor’s metamorphosis is the only discrepancy that can be identified when compared to a normal life. “Axolotl” is about another normal person, except he “was an axolotl”(Cortazar 3); he transformed into one. The change was unexplainable, even he “knew
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