Term Paper: Edward Feels Trapped Because He Creates

Pages: 4 (1870 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)  ·  Buy This Paper

Edward feels trapped because he creates his own problems. When he starts going to church and saying that he believes in God, he does it only because he wants to be with Alice and have her love him. She is cool to him and does not permit him to have sex with her, because she believes it to be a sin. Edward creates his alleged belief in God to try to change this, but it only gets him in trouble at the school where he teaches instead. To try to avoid some of this trouble, he begins a relationship with the directress of the school, but that is also something that he has trapped himself into. When Alice hears that he did not deny his belief before the directress and others, she finally gives herself to him, and he discovers that it was not what he really wanted after all, so he leaves her. He continues to see the directress for a while out of habit, but his heart is not in that, either, and he still does not really have a belief in God. Kundera suggests in this story that the nature of mankind is very complex and has trouble reconciling itself with a true belief in God. Instead, mankind uses a higher power for its own convenience and does not actually have the depth of belief that it should have. Real belief, that is complete and true, is very hard to obtain and often is not something that is easily understood or accepted in the face of all the pain and difficulty that is seen in the world today. In the last paragraph of the story, Edward is sitting in a church that is empty, and he is sorrowful, but from that sorrow emerges the living face of God, and Edward is happy once again. This appears to indicate that God is only truly found when nothing else seems to matter and sorrow has overtaken everything about life that has any importance. In his pain and despair, Edward found what he had been searching for and proclaiming that he had already found.

6. Franz Kafka was very good at creating imagery and telling a story without really getting into the specific little details that would generally be expected. Instead, he told rather ethereal tales that allowed the imagination of the reader to fill in the details and to sometimes see more than what was really there. Kafka did this by his use of imagery and the way that he peeled back his characters, layer by layer, until the true revelation of what the character was all about came at the very end, or near the very end, of the story. By doing this the reader is involved in the story in the same way that the characters are, because they also do not know the true intent of the character until it is revealed to them by the character at the end. This not only keeps the reader's interest, but it fascinates them and keeps them feeling as though they are part of the story - connected to it somehow through what they are discovering about the character little by little as Kafka spins his tale. The style of "A Hunger Artist" is very ethereal, and it gives little insight into the actual life of the artist. It only talks about his fasting, and how he wants this to be an accomplishment that is seen by many, but it goes unappreciated as people's ideas about what is important change as time goes on. This is ironic, because the hunger artist wants to be seen as important and accomplished when actually to most people he is merely a passing attraction that does not hold their interest any longer. It is also ironic that these same people continue right past him at the circus to see the menagerie, which signifies so much life and vitality. The title of the story is allegorical in that all artists hunger for appreciation and creative expression, and they often waste away in some sense of the word if the talent that they believe they have is not recognized and understood. The artist in this story wastes away literally, because his art is fasting and he is quite forgotten. The deception of the hunger artist is revealed very slowly, as Kafka takes great pains not to reveal too much too early. The artist is very frustrated that people do not appreciate him, but he also feels upset when people pay him too much attention, and the attention that he longed for and thrived on early on makes him weary at the end, where he seems to simply want to be left alone. It is only with his dying words that those around him realize that he never found any food that he liked, and if he had found this food he would never have become a hunger artist. He was striving for something all of his life, but he never said, and no one ever bothered to ask. The panther that is placed in the cage after the hunger artist dies and is buried signifies life, and the vitality that comes with eating and being healthy. The panther likes the food that it is given, but the story leaves the reader wondering whether the panther, like the hunger artist, would have wasted away if the food was not to its liking, or whether this is some special kind of pain that only humans feel.

7. Kafka's story "The Metamorphosis" is also very dreamlike. The change that takes place from man to creature is slow, but it is also very profound, and it is alarming because of the way that it is told. It seems that it could be very real, but yet at the same time it is told in such a way that it leaves the reader to imagine much of what is taking place. This is important, because what is created by the human imagination is often much more frightening and alarming than what is created by the writer. The character is once again peeled back slowly, so that what happens in the story seems to happen to the reader as well. In other words, the reader does not know something that he or she is waiting for the characters in the book to discover. Instead, the reader is as those characters in the book and does not know what is happening early on. He or she must wait until Kafka is ready to reveal the transformation that has been taking place, which he does slowly, so as to make the end result more repulsive and frightening. This story is also somewhat allegorical, as it represents what happens to some people, metaphorically, because of the darkness of their lives or their souls. In the story, Kafka wants the readers to see the darkness that is in everyone and the result of that darkness - what the darkness inside of someone can do to the part of the person that everyone sees. Even though real people do not metamorphose in this way, their personalities, attitudes, and actions can change enough to take on alarming and frightening characteristics, and this is what Kafka is trying to get across to the readers in that particular story.

8. Even though both Kundera and Kafka are from Czechoslovakia, the way that they write is very different. It is difficult to draw inferences about the culture from the writings of the two because of the way that they appear to look at things. Some of the writing seems rather stilted, but that could be the time period in which they wrote, and not necessarily a cultural issue. However, it does appear that their cultural roots breed creativity, because both writers are clearly very creative, albeit in different ways. There are some similarities, in that both writers deal with the nature of mankind by looking at specific individuals and the kinds of problems and pains that they go through to be recognized in this world. Edward wants to be recognized and appreciated by Alice, and the hunger artist wants to be recognized and appreciated by all that see him and realize what he does. This desire for the caring and compassion of others is very strong in the writing of both of these men. However, their differences are much greater than their similarities. Kundera takes a very direct approach to what he writes, while Kafka takes a very ethereal and often metaphorical look at life. When Kundera writes about Edward, it is very clear what Edward wants and what he needs, and it is also clear that he does not find it in the manner that he thinks that he will. Everything that was terribly important to him ceases to be so once he acquires it, and this is the way with many people throughout their lives. As for Kafka, he looks at the same types of issues but through… [END OF PREVIEW]

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