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World Literature Essay

1782 words - 8 pages

World Literature Assignment

Name of the School: B. D. Somani International School

Student’s Name: Vanshika Swaika

Candidate Number:

Session: May 2012


Sacrifice as a significant factor that leads to isolation in the characters of The

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende.

Word Count:

Sacrifice as a significant factor that leads to isolation in the characters of The

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende.

Sacrifice by definition is “an act of giving up something one values for the sake

of something that is more important”. It is a concept, which is an intrinsic part of

...view middle of the document...

This sacrifice of her middle age also lead to loneliness and death when Esteban

was suspicious of Férula’s sexual desire for Clara and he threw her out of the house.

In The Metamorphosis, Gregor the protagonist needed to “pay off my

1 Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits. New York: Dial Press, 2005. p. 42
2 Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits. New York: Dial Press, 2005. p. 41

[Gregor’s] parents’ debt”3 to his boss. He forgoes all the worldly pleasures and his

personal goals including his career and is by compulsion a traveling salesman.

“I’m seriously in debt to our employer as well as having to look after

my parents and my sister, so that I’m trapped in a difficult situation, but I

will work my way out of it again.”4

Gregor is the sole breadwinner of the family, his work lifestyle and the

pressures to fulfill his duties as a son, detriment his chances of companionship, which

resulted in his alienation from the world. This lonesomeness was further intensified

when Gregor crumbled under the weight of his family obligations and turned into

a ‘vermin’. In this state, Gregor’s family alienated him after deciding that they “have

to try and get rid of it”5, as his form had created a sense of embarrassment for the

family. To add to this, one can look at Gregor’s thoughts and concur that he is

alone in his journey of understanding the truth of his situation. Hence, not only is

the physical need of companionship but also the mental need can be derived. After

Gregor’s transformation he realizes that the most essential role was to earn money

and provide a comfortable living for his family, incapable of doing so he felt himself

as a burden to his family. Gregor’s loneliness sets in when his family especially

his mother does not want to see or talk to her “unfortunate son”6. Gregor’s solitude

further intensifies due to him being secluded in the room, as his new physical form

would not allow him to do otherwise. The one instance that Gregor did leave he room

was to hear his sister Grete play the violin, he was immediately dismissed by his

family and asked to leave the room.

“Maybe you can’t see it, but I can. I don’t want to call this monster

my brother, all I can say is: we have to try and get rid of it. We’ve done all

that’s humanly possible to look after it and be patient, I don’t think anyone

3 Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. USA: Filiquarian Publishing, LLC, 2007. p. 7

4 Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. USA: Filiquarian Publishing, LLC, 2007. p. 21

5 Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. USA: Filiquarian Publishing, LLC, 2007. p. 64

6 Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. USA: Filiquarian Publishing, LLC, 2007. p.

could accuse us of doing anything wrong.” 7

We look at his metamorphosis as a bad thing that happened to him, but

before his metamorphosis Gregor was not free by will, he has been exploited

by his parents his and his boss. After...

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