It is said no man is an island, no man stands alone. True human existence can not prevail positively or productively without the dynamics of society. In many ways society has put restrictions on man, and has held him back from his surroundings. It can also be said that in today’s society is blinded by the fantasies and stereotypes that surround them. Therefore man remains confined to realms of the world, which in turns cripples humanity. This society has placed man in his own bubble and left him to suffer, and to die if he does not measure up to the prevailing social standings. The theme alienation from a small society is depicted through setting by both authors Conrad and Kafka in Metamorphosis and Heart of Darkness. This depiction demonstrates how this isolation has a negative impact on man.
As illustrated in Metamorphosis, Kafka demonstrates the isolation of Gregor, the protagonist through the medium of his room. The “room” symbolizes how Gregor lacks relationship with his surroundings, his family and others. Kafka describes it as being “A regular human room” with “the four familiar walls” (3). This is society’s standards. It is portrayed as being full of ones basic essentials; with the regular old furniture. However, like always as the novel continues Gregor’s life continues there is change. His room is transformed to his new life and essentials. He begins to lose all his furniture, which “he had been use to [for] so long” (33). As a result there is a sense of emptiness and hollowness which is reflective of his surroundings and himself. This abyss of isolation devels into grave and endlessly has him suffering from the lack of interaction with humanity.
On the contrary, in Heart of Darkness, Conrad focuses on the iso...
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...the soul, simply the manipulation of has a negative result.
Essentially, both authors conclude that it is through alienation within a small society that ultimately leads to the primary characters’ demise and death. Whether their individual cases are self imposed or externally imposed, the results and the impact are the same, annihilation of the human soul. Their character ultimately fall into the abyss of loneliness and despair proving that human existence cut-off and on its own is more destructive than positive. Thus their message seems to suggest that as humans, we need society in order to truly belong and have a connection, purpose and worth in this life, in order to truly live.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003.
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Trans. Stanley Corngold. New York: Bantam, 1972.
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