Comparative Analysis Between Subsoil Memories And Metamorphosis

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Comparative analysis between subsoil memories and metamorphosis

One of the most appreciated representatives of his country’s realistic literature, the Russian Fiódor Dostoyevski published his novel Memories of the Subsoil in 1864. In 1915, almost five decades later, Franz Kafka presented his story metamorphosis.

The works that have been presented since the title of this writing are classics of literature and it is impressive that even today they continue to be part of the repertoire of readings in education and culture. The following brief is intended to compare both literary texts. It is true that each text presents different situations, but there are also similarities that can be rescued in each.

Fiódor Dostoyevski chose to divide his work Memories of the subsoil into two sections. In the first one you can read what is a wide monologue of a miserable, sickly man, is really an antihero. Then, in the second part describe memories of the narrator. The protagonist of the text is described from the first chapter as a being to whom his person is indifferent:

[…] Of course I can’t explain to whom I harm by acting with such evil. I know very well that I do not do it to doctors by not allowing me to take care of me. I hurt myself only;I understand it better than anyone. That’s why I know that if I don’t take care of me, it’s for evil. I’m sick from the liver. I’m glad! And if I get worse, I will be more happy. (Dostoevski, pp. 5)

Kafka’s metamorphosis tells Gregorio Samsa’s story, a man who wakes up becoming an insect. The text itself is guiding the reader until discovering which insect it is. Gregorio’s family when seeing him decides to hide it, because they reject him and even guests have left after discovering it. It is there where the misfortune of man begins. The man reaches a total loss of hope and his head gives off and dies. After that, the family feels that they have finally rid of it and form a new life.

The way in which Kafka tells the story allowed a current artistic ‘La Fuente (2005). In addition, those who are involved in this movement report the issues in an exaggerated way and distorted with the purpose of adding intensity to artistic communication.

Franz Kafka’s work is a strong example of a criticism of the behavior of the human being. That is, even if not explicitly in the text, discrimination and repudiation against those who are different. In addition, individualism is part of the family context of the work.

The main characters of both writings show similar characteristics. In memoirs of the subsoil the main character assures that he could never become an insect, that despite having tried so many times and being treated as an insignificant fly, he never got anything. On the other hand, in metamorphosis we see how a character becomes an insect, because it takes its transformation with some lightness. Without more, overnight has become something that would end his life. Compared to what the subsoil’s memoir wanted to. Maybe and the desire of that subsoil man was to let off steam and end the suffering produced by society and its behaviors.

The subsoil’s memoir represents an important element, as it reflects the personality and feeling of the main character. The reader is spoken from a remote, dark place that gives the impression of a basement or from the subsoil. On the other hand, in metamorphosis the story develops in the department that Gregorio himself had chosen to live and that he would later become his own grave. Although the stories develop in totally opposite places, the participations or performances of the protagonists make clear the misfortune in which the main characters live.

Finally, both subsoil memories and metamorphosis highlight an interesting topic: human behavior and repulsion for this same. In both literary works the individual is indicated as a prey to his thoughts of anguish produced by the context in which he develops. The authors asserted the inner monologue to create a space for reflection on human existence. The events produced at the beginning of the 20th century generated in the artists an impulse to demonstrate what their feeling was about their place in a world without hope and totally absurd.  

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