Analysis of Balance in Franz Kafkas Metamorphosis and Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart
In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo as one of the greatest men celebrated in his time practices himself to the ultimate to avoid his father’s tragedy life of poverty and feminism. His unyielding goals forced him not be able to respond in proportionality to the changing situation and destined death. Both in the stories “Metamorphosis” and “Things Fall Apart,” Gregor and Okonkwo represent people who are too heavily weighted by their identities and living up to satisfy the expectations of a society’s judgment as breadwinners. Their personalities and professions stand to suffer the consequences and trap them into indulging in industrious work and social isolation from others. Despite their determination for action, Gregor is twisted and ultimately deformed by the persistent pressures of modern life while Okonkwo’s fear becomes capable of overriding his better sense that results in three faults.
Everyone around him takes benefits from him; his family enjoys the contribution of his salaries, and the boss gets satisfied with his industrious efforts. However in return it creates stress, anxiety and pressure for Gregor, who is expected to carry the burden. In the long run, his action becomes more of a responsibility and less of a kind act. Ultimately all of these expectations become much more irritating than rewarding because he finds a great dissatisfaction with his working life. Gregor drawn into this, is against and burnout trap, as he speaks to himself, “the most sensible thing would be to sacrifice anything … [to] liberate himself from the bed [for not being late]” (29). After knowing the fact, and as the paychecks of Gregor become progressively more expected, his family sees him as a money-making machine and “the exchange no long felt particularly warm” (63).
He still chose to take the responsibility. After the transformation, the family as the first circle of society, reacted to this change with shock, horror and even anger. The society does not support those who are different and “useless”, Gregor’s sister rages, “we have to get rid of it” (105). Ultimately, the society abandons him. Both Gregor and Okonkwo failed to correspond to the reality of their environment with open perceptions and interpretations but too stuck in the past to the extent of refusing to make progress according to the above summary. Two characters contrast with Okonkwo and Gregor in this regard: Obierika and Mr. Samsa. Obierika is a more reasonable and critical thinker for his “wisdom, moderation and willingness to listen”.
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