Comparison of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Dali’s Illumined Pleasures

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A Comparison of Franz Kafka's novel, Metamorphosis, and Salvador Dali’s Painting, “Illumined Pleasures”

In Franz Kafka novel, Metamorphosis, we are introduced to the disappointment that Greg Samsa feels as a result of feeling inadequate through the middle class life he is leading. In this novel, Kafka uses a build up of emotion caused by his own internal struggle and expresses it through this rather perverse story. Like Kafka’s complex and daunting tale, many surrealist painters have used the same emotion and theme through their artwork and through the use dimension, have brought this feeling to life. In the Salvador Dali’s painting, “Illumined Pleasures”, this same morbid appeal can be found as well. Both of these works of art are similar in that there is a loss with the sense of the real world and there is a more dominate representation of a world that would reflect that of a dream.

In Franz Kafka novel, Metamorphosis one can easily perceive the dissatisfaction faced by Greg Samsa somewhat dull and repetitive life. In spite of his unhappiness towards leading his proletariat life-style his feels an obligation with having to the be backbone of his family and provide them with the financial support Starting off as being believing that he was the backbone of his family, Samsa soon discovers when he is transformed into a rather grotesque bug, his family complete neglect towards his contributions and how helped them with their overall survival. When transformed into a bug overnight, Greg Samsa experiences struggle and anguish not only through the new form his body has taken but also the through the discovery and realization of his family member’s demeanor. As a result of being turned into a bug, Samsa starts to find a new taste...

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...rightening than the last. The thoughts in this painting are scattered and don’t necessary follow a straight sequence. One can conclude from this that through his painting, Dali incorporates many factors similar to those one would experience when dreaming.

In both these works we are introduced into a somewhat distorted sense of reality. Though in thought we can imagine ourselves feeling as small or worthless as a bug a times, it is pretty accurate to say that the possibility of someone suddenly transforming into a bug is highly unlikely. Like Dali’s painting, we also find ourselves examining something that seems to be off course with our general sense of reality. With its gory and disturbing imagery, Dali’s painting and Kafka’s novel both seem to have captured a common nightmare brought to life either through elaborate story telling or through vibrant painting.
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