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The text below this line is the prompt just copied and pasted. You can choose any of the topics, but I feel like choosing one of the topics about “The Metamorphosis by Kakfa would be easiest to write about. I also attached a file of the prompt which is easier to read. Please include citations with page number and also a works cited page. Thank you!
Since you have written your last paper, we read Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, Lu Xun’s “A Madman’s Diary,” and Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Here are some options for what you can write about in your second paper:
● Write a comparative analysis of two or more of these works to explore one of the themes they all address: the state of modernity, alienation of a modern (wo)man, social transformations, and societal pressures, or choose another theme.
● Compare Lu Xun’s “A Madman’s Diary” and Kafka’s The Metamorphosis: how do both treat the human body and human dignity? What parallels can you trace? Is cannibalism as good of an allegory for Kafka’s novella as it is for Lu Xun’s short story? If so, how?
● Compare The Cherry Orchard and The Metamorphosis or “A Madman’s Diary” in terms of the characters’ connectedness/disconnectedness. In what ways are they connected or disconnected? What does it say about the society that encourages and perpetuates these models of communication?
● The theme of family is brought up in all these works. How does the modernity interrupt/alter/change the dynamics within the family? Compare the ways in which families are represented in two of these works. Are these families normative? How can a discussion of a family unit fit into a discussion of a society?
ATTENTION: you can use Crime and Punishment in your comparison if you find this endeavor compelling.
If you want to focus on just one text, here are some suggestions:
How does The Cherry Orchard address the advent of modernity? How is modernity represented in the play? What characters might welcome it more than the others, and for what reason? What does the conflict between the old and the new say about society as a whole?
How does the short story address the theme of madness in the context of modern society? What is “modern society,” and what does it mean to be a “madman” in it? Consider madness beyond a psychiatric diagnosis and more as a state of mind that defies the status quo’s limitations.
If we read the short story as a metaphor for society, what can cannibalism stand for? What does it mean to “eat” another human being? Are there any behaviors in the story, other than actual cannibalism, which one might term cannibalistic? What do people do to each other that makes them cannibals? Are we all cannibals in some respect?
Kafka (feel free to use any video materials in addition to the text of the novella)
● Susan Bernofsky writes, “Finally Gregor has only himself to blame for the wretchedness
of his situation since he has willingly accepted wretchedness as it was thrust upon him. … Gregor Samsa, a giant bug, is a cartoon of the subaltern, a human being turned inside out. He has traded his spine for an exoskeleton” (Kafka 124). To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Does Gregor deserve what has happened to him? Support your opinion using direct references to the text as evidence.
● Kafka’s novella can be read as an examination of the nature of humanity. In what ways is Gregor still human after his transformation? In what ways is he no longer human? What understanding of humanity can you derive from this story?
● What does Kafka have to say about modern life in “The Metamorphosis”? Look in particular at the effect his job and living situation has on Gregor.
You get ten ideas in total. View these more as an inspiration than a rigid requirement. I recommend that you read the prompts over a few times to make sure you 1) understand the question and 2) decide if this is something that inspires you.
Word Count: 1,500 minimum
MLA format with in-text parenthetical citations
Include Works Cited page
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