Surrealism Essay

Surrealism Essay

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Surrealism encompasses a reality above the surface reality, usually through efforts to suspend the discipline of conscious or logical reason, aesthetics, or morality in order to allow for the expression of subconscious thought and feeling. This literary technique, if successful, provides the audience with a suspension of disbelief, an acceptance of the imaginative aspects of the author's fantastic creation. "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka and "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe, are two examples of surrealism. These short stories both contain ex-centric scenarios and environments which suspend the discipline of conscious or logical reasoning. By definition "The Metamorphosis" and "The Masque of the Red Death" are the same. In style, context, and sub-consciousness, however, these short stories are entirely different variations of surrealism.

Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" offers a powerfully symbolic expression of personal anguish and uncertainty. The story's opening sequence tells of a man named Gregor Samsa who awakes one morning to find that he has been inexplicably transformed into a giant insect. Isolation, fear, and personal resentment eventually overwhelm the creature. At last, when Gregor Samsa is completely abandoned, death succumbs him. The emotional distress and internal struggle for Samsa in "The Metamorphosis" is quite logical for Kafka's audience. The circumstance of Samsa's sudden fate, however, is not. Kafka solves this problem by providing intimate details about the unbelievable, forcing the audience to accept things otherwise deemed ridiculous. In "The Metamorphosis," for example, Kafka describes inse...


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...iterature. In accordance to the definition of surrealism, both stories encompass a reality above the surface reality, which allows for the expression of subconscious thought and feeling. Furthermore, these two short stories contain ex-centric scenarios and environments that suspend the discipline of conscious or logical reasoning. When compared, however, these two stories are different. Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" addresses the author's personal, subliminal yearn for acceptance and subconscious malice toward his father. Conversely, Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" illustrates his intense subconscious fear of death. While both short stories are surreal by definition, the context of each story's surrealism is incredibly dissimilar. This dissimilarity is quite logical as the subconscious is a realm of thought which can never be defined.

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