Essay about Kubler-Ross on Gregor Samsa and Meursault

Essay about Kubler-Ross on Gregor Samsa and Meursault

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In the novels The Metamorphosis and The Stranger by Franz Kafka and Albert Camus, Kubler-Ross’s five stages of death are incorporated to emphasize the themes of individualism and isolation. While denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance are common emotions when dealing with death, denial, anger, and acceptance are essential in connecting to Kafka and Camus’s ideas regarding individualism. Through their experiences relating to those three stages of death, the protagonists, Gregor Samsa and Meursault, are isolated from greater society and forced to acknowledge their individuality.
Both Gregor and Meursault have pivotal experiences with denial, the first stage of the grief process, in their respective novels. While Gregor refuses to accept his transformation in order to remain a part of society, Meursault denies God in the religious culture of Algeria, proving his individuality while isolating himself. Gregor’s denial takes place when he prepares for work, ignoring his transformation, “First of all he wanted to get up quietly, […] get dressed, […] have breakfast, and only then think about what to do next” (Kafka 6). By characterizing Gregor as determined, Kafka shows his protagonist’s resolve to remain firm in ignoring his transformation for his family’s sake. Typically, such a metamorphosis would warrant panic, but Gregor is so selfless that he denies his own emotions to be useful for his family. Through the sequential syntax employed in this quoate, Kafka shows that Gregor does not want to stray from his usual routine. This attribute, along with his physical transformation, separates Gregor from humanity. With his unfamiliar mindset, seen through the denial of his metamorphosis, and his lack of human physical charac...

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...sis and The Stranger, they can be applied to the experiences of Gregor and Meursault to give a sense of humanity to the surrealist and absurdist novels. By allowing their characters to go through the death cycle in their own right, Kafka and Camus emphasize the importance of individuality and how it leads to isolation. Despite the fact that both males encourage uniqueness, the end results differ for Gregor and Meursault greatly; Gregor seems to show the negative side of individuality while Meursault’s is positive. Kafka and Camus utilize emotions from Kubler Ross’s five stages of death in The Metamorphosis and The Stranger to stress individuality and isolation.

Works Cited

Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage International,
1988. Print.
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Trans. Stanley Corngold. New York: Bantam, 2004.

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