“YoungGoodman Brown” vs. “The Metamorphosis”
“TheMetamorphosis” written by Franz Kafka is thestory which informs the reader of the journey of adopting and alsomanaging the difficulties that comealong during the process of transformation in life from on stage toanother. On the other hand “Young Goodman Brown” written byNathaniel Hawthorne is a short story that gives illustrationsregarding the recognition evil and immorality in the society is theway of living. The two books may seem different onthe content and information each hasbut is imperative noting that theygive almost the same ways of telling the story. Basically, in the twotales, the most repetitiveidea is a protagonistthat exists between two charactersand fatherfigures in each story. The relationship that prevails between theparentsymbolsalongside the actorsin “The Metamorphosis” by Kafka and “Young Goodman Brown” byHawthorne’s are full of symbolic expressions,and they give one another abrightcontrast.In the story by Kafka, the one considered as protagonist works sohard to ensure that his father leads a decent life by sustaining himfinancially and materially, on the other hand in the story byHawthorne,the protagonist isthefather,the devil, along with every step to fight him. Eventually, throughthe unexpectedincident, in both stories, the father figures brings about the end oftheir protagonist, but the structure alongside framework istexturedwith various motivations and perspectives. The paper will expound onstorytellingtechniques used, characters in the stories, themes,and symbolsemployed in a bidto enhance readership and appreciatingthe work ofboth the authors.
Inthe twostories,the two actorsinclude Gregor and Goodman. They are fighting for change. Thecharacter development gets its foundation on their primaryneed of doing what theyperceive as right. At the beginning of the story, Goodman believesbeyond any doubt that both his father alongside his grandfather wereperfect people to work and relate with not unless, his father, thedevil, the old man gave him a contradictorymessage. Heis an innocent man who believesin the goodnessof other people be it family members or friends,buthis mind is corruptedby allowing the evil to control his life hence assumingeverything he says. Also,he has a differentopinion regarding faith. In some instances, Goodman firmlybelieves thatFaith is pure and rightfor every folk. However,his mind changes when the devil overpowers and tells him that Faithis only for faint hearted in life. To be more precise, Goodman ispresentedas a protagonist with unsupported believes in life and does not seeany value in appreciating the goodness of others and lacks a properunderstanding of the matter evilness.
Likewise,Kafka portrays Gregor as an innocent person and easily influenced bythe currentcircumstancesand also his father only. According to Kafka, Gregor is oneindividual who is ready and willingto put into considerationany changes proposed byhisparent without rectifying or questioningthem (Kafka, P. 109). In the book, when the father’s business gotto its knees, he is easilymanipulated to work extra hard and become the solebreadwinnerof the family without putting into understanding the nature of thejobhe does. When he becomes an insect, Gregor accepts his new conditionand tries his best to see that he sustains himself in the newcondition. Ifone takes a careful look at thestory, then you will agree with my sentiments that, both Gregor andGoodman have no maximum traitdevelopment. Due to this,they do not change their recent situation.
InKafka’s story, the son and the dad trade places. At the beginningof the story, Gregory is exploited by his father, hence allowing thewhole family to depend on the little money Gregory earns at theexpenses of his future savings. The father hoards some of the cashand does not inform Gregory. In the story, as Gregory keeps ontoiling at the place of work tosettle massivedebts his father had has, he painfullycounts thedays he will keep on working until the time he will emergeindebtedness. Meanwhile, the parents together with the sisterare leading a life full of leisure back at home,and none of them thinks of going to work since they have theprivileges of having the maid at the homestead. Nonetheless, sinceGregor changed into a cockroach, he is dependent onhis father because he is no longer able to work hard as usual. InFranz Kafka’s work, the juxtaposition isclearly pointedout also. “The father was the parasite before Gregor’stransformation.The son becomes the bloodsucker after the changeof the father. Similarly,the world isperceivedas a place whereby the pleasure of some people isgainedthrough the costof others. We are in the globe of a fallen state” (Kafka, 110).
InHawthorne’s piece, although Satan is not Goodman’s father asdescribed in the book,his actions makes him resemblethe devil. The device helps in informing that the devil is a figurewith a consciencejust like a humanbeing or sometimes more. “Another important information to Brown’sunderstanding of iniquity is that he makes the devil figure in hisimage. The act ofprojects everyone as the embodiment of the devil” (Hawthorne’s,144). In this instance, the protagonist’s spiritual father issymbolized asthe evil.In spite of Goodman Brown’s outward divine favor, he is charmed bywickedness hence not in a position to extricate himself in theabsence of his dwindling faith. Dissimilar with Gregor, Goodman willnot serve the devilbut work for God, and he fights with evil to the degree of extremism.Nonetheless,he has no motivating confidence to back up his opinions,and it is,as a result,the devil uses negligible efforts to draw him. Following thisdiscussion, it is clear that both Gregor andGoodman wantthings done right and Gregor is forthright and honest, though,Brown is a hypocrite. Gregor and Goodman a submissive and also weakto their father figures in the stories, but it is fair to note thatGoodman becomes resistance while being entangled in the world ofnasty (Weinstein,25).
Inconclusion, “The Metamorphosis” by Kafka and “Young GoodmanBrown” by Hawthorne employs the use of the relationship that existsbetween father and son to form the basisof the several themes and other stylistic devices. At the end of thetwo stories, thereis no protagonistalthoughthrough what is described as an unexpectedreversal, since every story istexturedwith various perspectives, motivations together with characterdevelopment styles. The protagonists in both stories getthemselves in middle of events they previouslyknew,andthey are facing reality.Nonetheless, they havebeen representedin the stories as submissive to their parents. Different themes havebeenused,but the most evident areexploitationand father – son relationship.Symbolismwas also employed. Nevertheless, although the methodsutilizedin developing character seems the same, the main topics surroundingthe events are entirelydifferent. The story ends with the protagonists reconcilingtheir old and recent experiences in life.
Hawthorne,Nathaniel. YoungGoodman Brown, and Other Stories.North Chelmsford, MA: Courier Corporation. 1992. 100 – 141. Print.
Kafka,Franz. TheMetamorphosis.New York: Bantam Books. 1972. 100 – 149. Print.
Weinstein,1993.Young Goodman Brown: The Close Lane. International Journal of Englishand Literature, 1(1):1-6. 1993. 20-30. Print.