Summary Of Sylvie And The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka

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Both Franz Kafka and Barbara Gowdy present the reader with protagonists who exist in a sensationalized and absurd state. Kafka’s Gregor Samsa is a traveling salesman who wakes up one morning to discover the metamorphosis—the transformation of his body into that of a giant cockroach-like creature. Gowdy’s Sylvie is a young girl who is born bonded with the legs of an undeveloped Siamese twin, her mother prefers, they refer to as “Sue.” Though a siamese twin is a real medical condition, albeit rare, the entire matter is presented by the author as having a degree of absurdity with realism not being the intent. In both “Sylvie” and “The Metamorphosis,” the absurd situations of the protagonists are a mechanism by which the authors present themes of the nature of humanity and social structures. In regards to social structures, both short stories present the concept of work in a manner tinged with a Marxist perspective. According to Karl Marx, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” (8). Within the worlds in which Gregor and Sylvie live, their position of being a part of the underclass is a constant source of social strain. From the onset of the reader’s introduction to Gregor, the reader is introduced to the tension between himself and his job as well as his lack of satisfaction in his work. As a lower-class citizen, he is a wage slave to the whims of his boss. Throughout the short story, Gregor refers to his job as “torture,” “miserable”

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