Society’s Effect in Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

1269 Words Jun 22nd, 2018 6 Pages
Peter Shaffer and Franz Kafka, the authors of Equus and Metamorphosis, reveal through their main characters’ struggles how society’s oppression causes a loss of identity. This oppression is caused by society’s obsession with what it believes to be normal and how society’s beliefs drive it to conform those who don’t fit its normal image. The two authors use their characters to symbolize the different views and judgments of society. And based on these judgments, the authors use two different types of oppression that cause different outcomes. Finally, this essay will reveal how the two authors use their characters to drain the protagonist’s identity to show society’s desire to conform.
In both books, the authors use their characters to
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Whenever Gregor leaves his room he causes an uproar which usually ends with him being physically punished and forced back into his room by his father. This can be seen in the first chapter when Gregor reveals himself to his parents and boss, and becomes injured when his father forces him back into the room. In addition in the second chapter Gregor sustains mortal injuries for following his sister Grete into the house to help his collapsed mother. In the end, with his injuries and seeing himself as a nuisance and a monster like his family did, Gregor dies.
Both of the authors exploit their characters by using them to slowly leech the identity of their protagonists which ends in the protagonists’ loss of identity. They do this to show how society is always trying to conform others. In both books, society tries to conform the characters into what they believe is best for them. This can be seen in Equus when Dysart promises, “It’s all over now, Alan. It’s all over now. He’ll [Equus] go away now… You are going to be well. I’m going to make you well, I promise you.” (Shaffer 2 35). Shaffer uses his character Dysart to supposedly “cure” Alan into a person who is accepted by society. However, Shaffer creates another purpose for his character Dysart. Shaffer exploits Dysart to reveal how society’s “cure” for Alan is more destructive than it is helpful. Understanding what this will do to Alan, Dysart declares,
“I’ll take it [Equus/ his religion] away! He’ll