Essay PreviewMore ↓
The painting that I chose to compare to the novel Metamorphosis, by
Franz Kafka, was painted in 1937 by Salvatore Dali. Dali is an established
Surrealist painter, who, like Kafka, explored his own psyche and dreams in
his work. Dali invented a process, called the "paranoiac critical method",
which is used in this painting, to assist his creative process. As Dali
described it, his aim in painting was "to materialize the images of
concrete irrationality with the most imperialistic fury of precision...in
order that the world of imagination and of concrete irrationality may be as
objectively evident...as that of the exterior world of phenomenal
The rich landscape, seems to be limitless in detail. Dali rendered
every detail of this landscape with precise accuracy, striving to make his
paintings as realistic as possible.
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a beautiful young youth, who fell
in love with his own reflection, and then drowned while trying to embrace
himself. His body was never recovered, but a flower, which was named after
him was. The left side of this painting shows the kneeling Narcissus,
outlined by the craggy rocks of what could only be Cape Creus's. On the
right side of the painting, the scene has morphed into a more idyllic and
classical scene, in which the kneeling Narcissus has become the statue
of a hand, holding a cracked egg, from which emerges The Narcissus flower.
This painting reminded me of the first chapter of Metamorphosis,
where the main character, Gregor Samsa, first realizes that he is
confronted with a ludicrous fate in the form of a gigantic insect. In both
Kafka's and Dali's work, I noticed that they both implement a certain
"receding" technique. Dali tends to put an object (In this case,
Narcissus) In the foreground, and the background of the painting tends to
be very crisp and detailed, yet unimportant, compared to Narcissus. I feel
the same way about Gregor, I see Kafka writing this story with mainly
Gregor in mind, as the main character and narrator. Kafka puts this
puzzled victim in the story as a clerk, yet that element of the story tends
to receded in to the plot of the story.
How to Cite this Page
"Comparison of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Dali's The Metamorphosis of Narcissus." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jan 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A Comparison of Franz Kafka's novel, Metamorphosis, and Salvador Dali’s Painting, “Illumined Pleasures” In Franz Kafka novel, Metamorphosis, we are introduced to the disappointment that Greg Samsa feels as a result of feeling inadequate through the middle class life he is leading. In this novel, Kafka uses a build up of emotion caused by his own internal struggle and expresses it through this rather perverse story. Like Kafka’s complex and daunting tale, many surrealist painters have used the same emotion and theme through their artwork and through the use dimension, have brought this feeling to life.... [tags: compare, contrast, comparison]
755 words (2.2 pages)
- The Metamorphosis is one of seventeen works Kafka had published. The rest of his manuscripts he ordered to be destroyed when he died. The Metamorphosis published in 1915 is a popular work that is interesting to say the least and everything readers have come to expect from Franz Kafka. The story takes a look at humanity and the lack there of. Isolation also plays a role in the overall theme of the story. Analysis of Gregor’s character reveals an inner version of Kafka, his emotions and vulnerabilities in this twisted tale.... [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis, August Strindberg]
1652 words (4.7 pages)
- ... This illustrates Gregor’s desperation to work, even though he is in no state that would allow him to do so. Similarly, most insects are evolutionarily "programmed" to perform the same actions regardless of circumstances. This demonstrations how fitting it was that Kafka chose for Gregor to transform into an insect. Kafka cites that Gregor began working as a traveling salesman "with unusual ardor" (110) in order to pay back his family 's debts. Although it can be argued that supporting his family is a generous motivation, it can also be interpreted as "self-forgetting".... [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa]
1400 words (4 pages)
- Many views of existentialism are exposed in Kafka's Metamorphosis. One of these main views is alienation or estrangement which is demonstrated by Gregor's relationship with his family, his social life, and the way he lives his life after the metamorphosis. Namely, it suggests that man is reduced to an insect by the modern world and his family; human nature is completely self absorbed. Kafka reflects a belief that the more generous and selfless one is, the worse one is treated. This view is in direct conflict with the way things should be; man, specifically Gregor should be treated in accordance to his actions.... [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis]
1497 words (4.3 pages)
- ... As Gregor Samsa becomes an insect he becomes more human in a sense, he is freed from the shackles of capitalistic society, removed from being a cog in the machine. Samsa, being literally turned into vermin, is physically self-alienating himself from the rest of his family and boss. Samsa is also mentally alienated from the rest of his family because Samsa is no longer able to communicate in an effective manner conducive to being able to communicate to where his family would be able to understand him.... [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Capitalism]
1655 words (4.7 pages)
- Waking up as a cockroach would be an unusual and frightening circumstance for most people. For Gregor Samsa, it was more of an inconvenience than something to be afraid of. Gregor Samsa is the protagonist of “The Metamorphosis”, which is a short story written by Franz Kafka, about a man who lived a bleak and depressing life. Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Czech Republic in 1883 to Jewish parents. In life, Kafka himself was depressed and he felt like he didn’t fit in. He was also a schizophrenic which may explain why he made his character wake up one morning as a giant cockroach.... [tags: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Cockroach]
1859 words (5.3 pages)
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a classic piece of literature. This masterpiece of stunning psychological, sociological and existential angst has blessed the minds of readers since it was written in 1912. It is the story of Gregor Samsa, a hardworking man trying to pay off the debt of his family, but transforms into a vermin, (bug). There are many parallels of Kafka’s life to Gregor’s in Metamorphosis. Both Kafka and Gregor were in family and social discord, and a bureaucracy of a work world.... [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis]
1455 words (4.2 pages)
- Gregor Samsa awakes one morning to discover that he has been transformed into a repugnant vermin. One may never know what initiated this makeover, but the simple truth is that Gregor is now a bug, and everyone must learn to live and move on in this strenuous situation. In Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, the characters that interact with Gregor, including his mother, his father, and his sister Grete, must come to terms with his unfortunate metamorphosis, and each does so by reacting in a unique way.... [tags: Franz Kafka Metamorphosis]
958 words (2.7 pages)
- Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis In German, the word Kafka uses to describe Gregor Samsa's transformation is ungezieter, which is a word used by the Germans during his lifetime in reference to the Jews. The literal English translation is "monstrous vermin." Kafka uses Gregor's family to show how inhumane society can be. In The Metamorphosis, Kafka uses his experiences to create much of Gregor's life. He indicates that Gregor's family only saw him as a means of survival before the change and took advantage of him.... [tags: Kafka Metamorphosis Essays]
650 words (1.9 pages)
- Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis The play metamorphosis was written by Franz Kafka but Steven Berkoff produced a theatre adaptation of Metamorphosis in the late 1960’s. Kafka was born 1883, his childhood was most troubling and life hard, as he was a Jew growing up in German culture, also being ignored and alienated is why Kafka could relate to the character Gregor. Kafka had a hard relationship with his Father who would mistreat him and often tell Kafka he was a failure and a disappointment, which came through on to the character of Gregor’s Father, another reason for Kafka to relate to Gregor.... [tags: Franz Kafka Metamorphosis]
792 words (2.3 pages)
- Faulkner's Condemnation of the South in Absalom, Absalom
- Self Discovery in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Camus' The Outsider
- Characters, Setting, and Conflicts in A Tale of Two Cities
- A Change of Fate in A Tale of Two Cities
- Plagiarism and The Red Badge of The Great Gatsby
- The Corrupt Social Structure Exposed in A Tale of Two Cities
intensify the scene, which later leads up to Gregor's rejection by his
family, and himself.
Another similarity between this scene and the painting, is the
fact that main 'character's' in the foreground, do not move, they only grow.
Gregor did not get out of bed the first morning of his metamorphosis, yet
he did change. In both halves of Dali's painting, Narcissus's position does
not move, yet he also grows. What is interesting about both works is that
they can both be perceived differently each time I see them. When I first
read Metamorphosis, I did not realize that Gregor was laying motionless in
bed, until a second reading. I had a similar experience with Dali's "The
Metamorphosis of Narcissus". I first saw this painting when I was on
vacation in London four years ago, at a Dali art exhibit. My first
impression of this was simply a man kneeling down in the water, who in the
other half of the painting had a flower growing out of his skull, and there
were people living around this huge 'statue'. My second viewing of this
painting, in the book Dali, by Robert Descharnes, allowed me to notice many
more things. On the left panel of the painting, Narcissus looks more human,
with long flowing hair, and a solid body.
On the right panel, Narcissus can be viewed as either a human
figure, or a hand growing out of the soil, which is grasping a blossoming
egg. I also now notice that the 'civilization' in the background of the
painting has seemed to have advanced during Narcissus'es metamorphosis. On
the left, Narcissus kneel's alone in the water, only surrounded by
wilderness, as the painting progresses narratively from the left side to
the right side, civilization seems to have advanced, human beings are
present, there is a house at the base of the mountain in the distance, a
statue in a courtyard, and there is a cow grazing in the field.
With this description of the painting, the reader can hopefully
grasp the most important similarity between both Kafka's and Dali's work,
both objects, or persons, (Gregor and Narcissus) however you perceive them,
go unnoticed, yet life continues to go on around them. Both Gregor and
Narcissus, in my opinion, are important because the are the center of
attention of each piece of work, yet the world around them seems to go on
without them, and improve.
Both of these works insist that the audience take time to interpret
and understand them. This is perhaps one of the most important reasons for
my selection of these two works. Both stimulate controversy in their
interpretations, and make the audience look deeply to find what they
believe to be their purpose, or meaning. Franz Kafka and Salvatore Dali
were both great artists of their time, who consequently have both been said
to greatly revolutionize their field, especially the latter. The difference
between them as thinkers only lies in the implementation of their thoughts.
Kafka chose to write about his thoughts and dreams, and Dali chose to
visualize them on canvas.
My comparison of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Dali's "The
Metamorphosis of Narcissus" are important to Surrealism , because they are
clearly both surrealist works which significantly took surrealism in a new
direction. Both were completed in the first half of the century, when the
modernist movement began to progress, and both are symbolic of surrealism
because they make the audience develop their own interpretation of the work.
According to the Random House College Dictionary, Surrealism is a style of
art and literature developed principally in the 20th century, stressing the
subconscious or nonrational significance of imagery arrived at by
automatism or the exploitation of chance effects...
I find that Kafka's surrealistic style, although descriptive, is
more blunt than Dali's. Dali has an advantage over Kafka in this argument,
since the audience is directly looking at what is in Dali's mind, whereas
we must visualize on our own what Kafka believes to be true of Gregor.
Another advantage of Dali's surrealism is that his color usage allows for a
much easier depiction of Dali's mood, as well as the narcissist portrayed.
1.) Tansey, Richard G. and Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner's Art Through The Ages, Book 2, Tenth Edition; Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1996, New York. P.1076
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Mattituck: Vanguard Press, 1946