Comparison of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Dali's The Metamorphosis of Narcissus

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1111 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Comparison of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Dali's The Metamorphosis of Narcissus

 

        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

reality."1

 

        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

MLA Citation:
"Comparison of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Dali's The Metamorphosis of Narcissus." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16390>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Comparison of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Dali’s Illumined Pleasures Essays - 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)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on The Metamorphosis by Kafka - 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)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Essay - In The Metamorphosis, Kafka establishes, through his religious imagery and gospel-esque episodic narration, the character of Gregor Samsa simultaneously as a kind of inverse Messianic figure and a god-like artist, relating the two and thus turning the conventional concept of the literary hero on its ear. The structure of the novel reflects that of the Gospel of Mark in that it is narrated in individual events, and in this it is something of a Künstlerroman - that is, the real metamorphosis is over the course of the novel, rather than just at the beginning, and that change is a heightened sensitivity to the world in an artistic sense....   [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis] 1674 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essays - 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]
:: 8 Works Cited
1455 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Theme of Freedom in Kafka's Metamorphosis Essay - The Theme of Freedom in Kafka's Metamorphosis One of Franz Kafka's most well-known and most often criticized works is the short story, "Die Verwandlung," or "The Metamorphosis." "The Metamorphosis" is most unusual in that the first sentence is the climax; the rest of the story is mainly falling action (Greenburg 273). The reader learns that Gregor Samsa, the story's main character, has been turned into an enormous insect. Despite this fact, Gregor continues to act and think like any normal human would, which makes the beginning of the story both tragic and comical at the same time....   [tags: Kafka Metamorphosis Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1311 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Symbolism in Kafka's Metamorphosis - Symbolism in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis   Kafka uses symbolism in his short story, Metamorphosis.  He uses this technique to make the reader try and figure out what was going on in his head.  He brought out in this story many things about his life, including his father/family, love life, and his future.  He used metaphors to show his love for people in his life.  This story is autobiographical about the forces that control Franz Kafka's life.  In this paper I will explain how Kafka relates his life to the readers through the story in Metamorphosis.              Franz Kafka had trouble at home with his father.  His father wanted him to become a lawyer, but Franz did not wan...   [tags: Kafka Metamorphosis Essays] 915 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Analysis of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essay - Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is so strikingly absurd that it has engendered countless essays dissecting every possible rational and irrational aspect of the book. One such essay is entitled "Kafka's Obscurity" by Ralph Freedman in which he delves down into the pages of The Metamorphosis and ferrets out the esoteric aspects of Kafka's writing. Freedman postulates that Gregor Samsa progresses through several transformations: a transformation of spatial relations, a transformation of time, and a transformation of self consciousness, with his conscious mutation having an antithetical effect on the family opposite to that of Gregor....   [tags: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis] 1748 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Alienation in Kafka's The Metamorphosis Essay - 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)
Better Essays [preview]
Franz Kafka's Metamorphisis Essay examples - 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)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis - 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)
Good Essays [preview]

Related Searches




In a way, this technique seems to

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.


Footnotes:

 

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

Works Cited:

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Mattituck: Vanguard Press, 1946



Return to 123HelpMe.com