The Metamorphosis and a Doll’s House

I had studied two texts, which is “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka and “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen. Many writers’ works have their own characteristics, which some are better than others. These writers included Franz Kafka and Henrik Ibsen. Their work expresses the elements that makes literature interesting. There are similarities and differences in both “A Doll’s House” and “The Metamorphosis”, such as the era, geographical area, the style of writing, literary elements used, and themes.

Environment and era are powerful things. It causes characters to evolve far beyond what they normally experience through the change of era. In “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, Kafka developed his attitude towards this situation through the application of Gregor, the protagonist. We can see from the Gregor character, a person will be obsessed with their own ideal, but unable to adapt to the environment. On the contrary, in “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, Nora usually shy and with many doll-like qualities, but she can adapt to her situation and ultimately stand out.

Franz Kafka, who is the author of “The Metamorphosis” usually created a fictional world, in which characters try to make sense of a nightmarish world. Kafka’s writing style seems simple and straightforward, but it is full of philosophical thinking on the absurdity of life. It is not easy to understand his story if the readers only go through once. The word ‘Kafkaesque’ related to his writing style, which considered by many to be synonymous with the term ‘surrealism”. Most of his stories are strange and scary. His work is not only a fantasy and symbolism, but also a thought-provoking, confronting us with a dream vision of our own condition. Kafka’s stories are mostly metaphorical, focusing on the nature of spirituality and the absurdity of life. The sentences seem to go on and on until they take a surprising or counterintuitive turn. Kafka loves to express his feelings with words, and make a person really feel what he is expressing. Franz Kafka, also known as an author of silence and one of the dimensions. Kafka write in silence, and he use the expression of space. This is the difference between his works and those of modern writers. For example, Kafka’s metamorphosis begins with the protagonist, “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” (Kafka, 1972). Most of the readers like us, have no reason to explain this miraculous change. This written silence lends interest to the story. The use of architectural terminology also adds a visual dimension in his style of writing.

Henrik Johan Ibsen (1828-1906), who was the author of “A Doll’s House”, and a leading Norwegian playwright, social critic and advocate of women’s rights. He is the father of realism and the pioneer of modern drama transformation and revolution. In his realistic drama, Henrik Ibsen ruthlessly tries to reveal all the social appearance, hypocrisy, and false pretensions. He is a stubborn, destructive playwright, created all false idols and corruptions, and incited all social and economic deceit and dishonesty. He tried to avoid every stone of social structure. He looks for truthfulness and freedom. In almost every culture in the world, there is hardly a work of literature that has had such an impact on women’s liberation as “A Doll’s House”. In his play “A Doll’s House”, he wrote a modern tragedy. Tragedy is Shakespeare for most people, but it is not. Ibsen wrote a real tragedy during this period. He violated the people’s belief and thought, and denied the people’s idea of modern drama. As soon as the play began, it was acted on and read by others, and everyone enjoyed it.

Although “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka is a medium-length novel, while ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen is a play, the protagonist of the story both had portrayed the same theme of alienation, whether it is physical or emotional. Nora Helmer and Gregor Samsa were experiencing alienation in the family and society, and the only difference between them was in setting time emphasizes on how the characters are still expected to isolation and depression by social expectations, which influence the relationship within the family.

These two roles have the only similarity, which are alienated in their own families and society as a whole. In the play of “A Doll’s House”, Nora Helmer is seen as a source of entertainment around the house, presents her dance flows or performances, and is treated as a child by her husband. Nora also illustrate her happy appearance to Mrs. Linda (friend during her childhood) especially when she sits down in front of a footstool as a child. Nora was dominated by his father in the family, and later by her husband, which forced her to hide her true feelings, that leading to her heart. For instances, the quote that indicated was “I’m also like a half-drowned woman on a wreck. No one to suffer with; no one to care for.” (Ibsen, 2007). She was also worried about the consequences of the loan, and how it would affect her loved ones, as she always trying to please, but not settle for the status quo. She risked her reputation for her family.

Although Nora has the role of being in the house, yet, in the novel of ‘The Metamorphosis’, Gregor was always busy with his work and travel, until he had no stable relations with many people in his life, including his own family, whom he would only see during Christmas Eve or rarely in dinner. When the manager came into their house and wanted to know why Gregor was not in his office, he also tended to please his family and worry about their reputation in society. Gregor was much more miserable and tragic after his transformation, he was seen as a burden on the family. Gregor’s change had separated him from his family, literally and emotionally, and he had even called it his ‘imprisonment.’ ‘After the metamorphosis, he stayed in his room and hardly contact with anyone else. In addition, he had no way to communicate with others, as he couldn’t speak. For example, the quote that illustrated was “I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.” (Kafka, 1972). In this story, it hasn’t mention that Gregor has any close friends or intimate relationships outside his family. In fact, the alienation caused by Gregor’s transformation can be seen as an extension of the alienation that he already felt as a human being.

As we can see, both characters are willing to sacrifice themselves to provide their loved ones with a better and more comfortable life in terms of their reputation and set roles. Nora Helmer and Gregor Samsa has identified the role. From this perspective, you can see that the world is made up of two different types of people. Some of us are Nora’s and some of us are Gregor’s. Through these short story and play, we see the bipolar nature of human adaptation in strange environments. Nora’s character is a kind of new ideology, the voice of change, which is the ultimate adaptation and victory. On the other hand, Gregor was one of those who cling to a static ideology, and cannot keep up in a dynamic world.