Kafka; Rilke; Akhmatova; Lorca; Xun; Mahfouz

1.) Gregor’s relationship with his family is unsatisfactory. Gregor’s father appears short tempered and hissing like a wild man when he first discovers Gregor has changed into an insect. He is immediately outraged and disappointed instead of feeling sorry or concerned for him. His family seems at to do what they can for him, in regards to feeding and caring for him, out soon find him more of a nuisance and give hime less care and concern.

2 a.) The first Central Events of the metamorphosis of Gregor is when he awakes and discovers he has transformed into an insect. He feels normal otherwise, its just his physical appearance has changed. He reflects on his current life with the very few friends due to the traveling that his job requires. He dislikes his job but only keeps it to support his family, feeling trapped.

b.) The second event is that when he can no longer take care of himself, such as feeding himself. His sister must bring food to him everyday which takes away his independence. Slowly loses his humanity and starts developing insect-like needs, such as hiding, crawling, and food preferences. Her families disgust over his appearance changes their feeling toward him.

c.) The third central event where Gregor is injured because of the apple thrown at him by his father, leads to the family leaving the door to his bedroom open. He then hears what his family has been doing about the household finances since Gregor can no longer work to support them. They have sold off jewelry, hired a cheaper maid, and taken in 3 borders to help with the bills. Gregor becomes isolated as he’s family, sympathy is diminished. His family has lost any interest or concern for him. Gregor reflects that his family can no longer tolerate him and he dies. The weakening of Gregor results in the strengthening of family. Since Grete is now a grown woman and can get married and get a good job to support the family. They cannot house Gregor to take care of and can get a smaller more affordable apartment.

3.)  I believe Akhamatova’s poem, “Requiem” would have been effective had it been published during Stalin’s Rule. It would have brought out the political injustices mad to millions of men during this period in history. Because of the poems explicit depiction of malher’s despair regarding her son’s well being. It is however a piece of literature that has great meaning to people who have lived throughout and will continue to live through political persecution. The entrance of the pain and suffering of people due to human cruelty is something that we all should not condone and fight to overcome.

4.) The famous command at the end of Archaic Torso of Apollo should be interpreted by showing how the author wants the audience or reader to step back from being an observer and look at oneself -evaluate one’s own life and future, and come up with a plan moving forward.

2 thoughts on “Kafka; Rilke; Akhmatova; Lorca; Xun; Mahfouz

  1. jwmaring

    I am not totally sure “Requiem” would have made a big difference if it had been published during Stalin’s rule within the Soviet Union. I think the terror he imposed on the people was far too excessive to possibly have been overcome within, much like Saddam Huissein’s police state in Iraq. I believe it would have been effective however at garnering consternation from the rest of the international community if they were more aware. But much like Russia is allowed to run roughshod as it does today on the international scene, it is unlikely much could have been done about it.

  2. Josh

    Published or not I believe that the “Requiem” had an impact either way because the fact that they band the piece means that it was strong enough for them to think it meant something.

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