Obsession in A Hunger, The Penal Colony, and Metamorphosis

Obsession in A Hunger, The Penal Colony, and Metamorphosis

Length: 897 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In “A Hunger”, “The Penal Colony”, and Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Kafka succeeded in showing his individuals as obsessed with their profession; however their obsession caused their doom because society asks so much from an individual, only so much can be done. However, regardless of that, these individuals choose their work over themselves, and not even bad health or death can stop them. Because society places immures pressure on Kafka’s work obsessed character, they neglect their well-being and cause their own downfall.
In “A Hunger Artist” Kafka portrays the artist as an obsessed person with starving himself. Not even death matter as long as he gets that attention he wants from society. Kafka wants society to be the reason that artist became they way he is now. “He worked with integrity, but the world cheated [the artist] of his reward” (Kafka 144). The Hunger Artist no longer has anything significant in his life but the only thing that makes him the way he is because he wants the public’s attention. Society demands are high and not easy to achieve, to the point where the artist was the center of attention in big cities with beautiful girls waiting to help him come out of his cage. But now he is in small cage, neglected by everyone, even when it comes to fasting “no one [counts] the days, no one, not even the hunger artist himself, [know] his extent of his achievement” (144). In the end, the hunger artist body could no longer sustain himself after the long-lasting fast, however society was moving on and he was not. Society was the downfall of his life, wanting public attention is not easy with a cruel society that demands change and new entertainment.
In “The Penal Colony” the life of the officer is solely based on the old commandant’s rules and ideals. His strong obsession of being “involved in the very first experiments and also [sharing] in the work all the way to it completion” (96) Has a deep impact on the officer’s life and beliefs. The officer is not only obsessed with his work but with the old ways that the old commandant made. Also, the fact that he is the last one in the colony that still follow the old ways means that he is going against the whole society in the colony. The new commandant “uses everything as an excuse to attack the old ways” (105).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Obsession in A Hunger, The Penal Colony, and Metamorphosis." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Apr 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=218755>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Franz Kafka 's ' The Penal Colony ' Essay

- There will always be issues when dissecting a person’s belief system in contrast to another person’s belief system. Much of this is caused by everyone involved always feeling as if their belief system is the right one. In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka approaches this issues through an explorer who is in a foreign colony, observing an unfamiliar justice system. The entire system is based around a machine, called the apparatus, which always declare the accused as guilty, inscribes the punishment of the accused onto their body, and then slowly kills them....   [tags: Race, Racism, Racial segregation, Jim Crow laws]

Research Papers
2354 words (6.7 pages)

Gregor's Obsession with Money Exposed in Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis Essay

- Gregor's Obsession with Money Exposed in Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis In his story The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka gives us the story of Gregor Samsa, a young man who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into an insect-like creature. Gregor, however, remains strangely indifferent to his plight, in a manner that seems inhuman to most readers. This is not due to a lack of omniscience on the narrator's part that causes the indifference to go unmentioned, and neither is it due to inobservance on the part of Gregor to the point of not noticing that he has been changed into an insect....   [tags: Franz Kafka Metamorphosis]

Research Papers
844 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The Massachusetts Bay Colony And The Chesapeake Colony

- In the 17th century, Europeans were eager to colonize in the newly discovered world. Europe was willing to invest time, resources and money into expanding their power. Powerful nations such as Spain, France and Britain settled there by this time and subtly encouraged Europe to do the same. Europe sent people overseas to two sections, The Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Chesapeake Colony. At the beginning, every aspect influenced their colonies success such as social, political, economic, and geographic....   [tags: Massachusetts Bay Colony, Massachusetts, Boston]

Research Papers
877 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Franz Kafka 's The Metamorphosis

- Narrator’s Role in The Metamorphosis The point of view that is used in Franz Kafka 's short story The Metamorphosis is that of a third person narrator. The narrator of the story is not a character who appears in the story, but is a witness to all of the events. At the beginning of the story, the narrator is a subjective and limited narrator. The narrator is able to display to the reader all of the thoughts and feelings of Gregor but is not able to depict to the reader the feelings of the other members of the Gregor’s family....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa]

Research Papers
1178 words (3.4 pages)

Minor Characters Of ' The Metamorphosis ' Essay

- Minor characters in The Metamorphosis In contrast to this concise and straightforward essay, Kafka uses startling and strange style to baffle the readers in The Metamorphosis. As soon as the reader opens up the first page of the book, Kafka tells the reader that Gregor has turned into a vermin overnight. Gregor still worries about getting up “since [his] train leaves at five” even though he is well aware of the metamorphosis. (Kafka 3). The reaction of the minor characters in the The Metamorphosis baffles the readers too....   [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Novella]

Research Papers
1425 words (4.1 pages)

The Great Change in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis Essay

- Although Gregor turned into a bug, the real Metamorphosis occurred before the change and with the whole family. Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis reflects the ideals about industrialization and existentialism during the turn of the century. In the novella, Gregor turns into a bug, and the whole family has to deal with it in different ways. Many characters go through a metamorphosis in the novella. Although the changes may not be physical the changes occurred greatly in Gregor, Mr. Samsa, and Grete....   [tags: The Metamorphosis]

Research Papers
942 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Reformation Of The Plymouth Colony

- MAX Ruh, History DBQ 1630, ten years after the colonization of the Plymouth Colony in New England, the Puritan community settled north of the Pilgrims forming the Massachusetts Bay Colony in search for religious purity. The Puritan settlers colonized New England quickly and efficiently bringing with them the strong religious ideals and values from their former home of Europe. The informal theocracy instilled by the Puritan settlers fostered both a united community and efficient economy that in turn shaped New England’s social, political, and economic development.The economic foundation of the Puritan community revolved around their religious ideals, these ideals laced with natural resources...   [tags: Massachusetts Bay Colony, Puritan, Massachusetts]

Research Papers
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Existentialism in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essay

- Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is a masterfully written short story about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes his life to his family and work, for nothing in return. Only when he is transformed into a helpless beetle does he begin to develop a self-identity and understanding of the relationships around him. The underlying theme of The Metamorphosis is an existential view that says any given choice will govern the later course of a person's life, and that the person has ultimate will over making choices....   [tags: Metamorphosis essays]

Research Papers
615 words (1.8 pages)

The Metemorphosis Essay

- The Metamorphosis The Metamorphosis is a novel written by Kafka Franz and published in 1915. The story is about a travelling sales man by the name Samsa Gregor who wakes up to find himself transformed into an insect. The main characters include Gregor Samsa, Grete Samsa, Mr. Samsa, Mrs. Samsa and Samsa. The theme of change is conspicuous on the novel when Gregor Samsa wakes up to find himself transformed into an insect. The theme of economic effects on human relationships is also evident when we find that Gregor Samsa is a slave to his family because he is the breadwinner....   [tags: Literary Review ]

Research Papers
1391 words (4 pages)

The Metamorphosis Essay

- The Metamorphosis The longer story The Metamorphosis, first published in 1971, was written by Franz Kafka. He was born in Prague in 1883 and lived until 1924, and he has written many other stories along with The Metamorphosis. The Metamorphosis appears to be a fantastic piece. After reading The Metamorphosis, I do believe that there are many similarities between magical realism and fantastic literature. Kafka showed many fantastic issues in The Metamorphosis. While reading The Metamorphosis, I did not feel that it had any magical elements in the story, but had many fantastic elements....   [tags: The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka Literature Essays]

Research Papers
1720 words (4.9 pages)

However, the officer is using every means possible to keep the machine and not get rid of it. The officer takes pride in what he does. Though, with society putting enormous pressure to take away the machine, the officer desperately tries to convince the foreigner to agree with. However, when the society and even with the traveler refusing such an inhuman machine, his hopes were shattered, only that was left was “the judicial procedure that was dear to the officer was truly near its end” (116). The officer is choosing to die for the sake of his profession and he wishes to die with the work he loves rather than see it ruined by the new ways of the new commandant. Society pressure was the downfall of the officer, since nothing matters more with the machine not being there.
In Metamorphosis, even with strange circumstances, Kafka portrays Gregor as an obsessed worker, even after he transforms into giant beetle. All he can think about is work since “he had not once been ill during his five-year employment” (8). It would be strange for him no go to work. However, his family keeps knocking on his door asking him to hurry to work. His family depends on Gregor for money and “they convinced themselves over the years that Gregor [is] set for life at his firm” (18). Kafka is showing how despite his metamorphosis, the character in the story ignores unusual circumstances and is only thinking about what he can do to help his family and not himself. Family in Metamorphosis is his society and it keeps pressuring him to do the impossible. He thinks that he is the only source of living for his family and keeps trying to try to resolve things. However, Gregor is no longer needed by his family; he overexerted himself with his family’s problem and forgets about his. Although he knew he was not needed by his family, “his thoughts full of tenderness and love, went back to his family, he [is] even more firmly convinced than his sister […] that he should disappear” (48). Gregory’s faced his dome because of family and that was his only society. It was the only thing that made him alive. However, when that society has no longer need for him, he gave his life thinking it was for the best and to finally “put the past to rest” (51). Kafka shows how the family is moving on and with the “daughter [jumping] to her feet and [stretching] her young body” (52).
Kafka shows that each individual shown in the examples above have ignored age heath, transformation and faced death for the sake of their profession. An Addition to that, they all faced the same fate because they wanted to satisfy society and meet its expectations. Work obsessed individuals have an enormous pressure from society demands and in the end they dead because they neglected the most important thing in life, themselves.

Return to 123HelpMe.com