Modernity in The Metamorphosis and The Judgement by Franz Kafka

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French poet Charles Baudelaire famously coined the term 'modernity' as 'the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable'. This particularly characterises the transitory nature of contemporaneity, highlighting the importance art has in capturing the experience of this urban cosmopolitan. Through The Metamorphosis and The Judgement, Franz Kafka uses literature in order to portray 'the sickness of modernity' in which 'tradition has crumbled under the onslaught'. Kafka draws upon the negative aspects of this industrial civilisation, particularly highlighting

According to Elizabeth Boa, one of 'the effects of the modernizing process' was that of 'generational tensions as sons sought to over-throw paternal authority and find their own way' within the modern world. A reoccurring motif within both texts is that of the role reversal of filial relationships in which the son is portrayed as the provider and the father as the dependant. This experiment with traditional family structure can be seen within The Metamorphosis as Mr. Samsa is described as almost commensurate with his wife and daughter due to being unable to support them and wholly relies on Gregor for the household income. He is illustrated as 'an old man...who could not take on very much', as having an 'arduous yet unsuccessful life' and was now 'clumsy in his movements' due to the 'great deal of weight' he had gained. Each of these quotes have negative

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