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Impact of Poverty on the lives of Raskolnikov, Gregor Samsa, and The Samsa Family

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Poverty on social conditions affects everyone in every part of the world, no matter if they are rich or poor. First of all, everyone is divided into some sort of social class. The most known classes are the economic classes- the lower class, the middle class, and the higher class. The lower class goes through arduous labor all day and night to earn decent amounts of money to provide for themselves and their families. Most likely, they are the only source of income for the entire family. The higher class works hard to keep up or raise their high social status. They also work hard so they don’t loss their social rank, which permits them to hold a higher power over the middle and lower classes. Similarities of decisions made by characters in these two literary works will analyzed to understand the meaning behind the actions and influences of the social classes on each other.
In Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov suffers a poverty-stricken life along with most of the other Russians. Most families during the time setting of this book are classified as lower class. The decisions they make are based solely upon how to improve their quality of life and social conditions. In Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, Gregor works hard night and day in a job which he despises because he needs to earn money to support his poor, impoverished, dependent family. Gregor also sacrificed himself, believing it was best for everyone in his family. He didn’t want to overburden his family by reminding them of the insignificant, incompetent insect that he has become. With these decisions, Raskolnikov and Gregor made an effort to improve their living conditions for themselves and their families. Belonging in a lower class rank and wishing to...


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...s family with affection and love. His opinion about the necessity for him to disappear was, if possible, even firmer than his sister’s.” (Kafka, 49). This choice symbolizes how the poor citizens of the world have to sacrifice so many things, including their own life, to survive in this hostile and competitive world. The upper class men do not do anything to make life easier
and more tolerable for the poor. In fact, they just make it harder to live in this cruel environment. Revolts and rebellions are the only solution that can change and improve the standard of life for the lower and middle classes of society.


Works Cited

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Trans. Constance Garnett. New York:
Modern Library, 1950.

Kafka, Franz. “The Metamorphosis.” The Metamorphosis. Trans. and Ed. Stanley
Corngold. New York: Bantam Books, 1972.


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