The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka and The Stranger by Albert Camus have very similar perspectives on life and philosophy of the world. Both texts are absurd in nature; in Kafka's, the main character, Gregor wakes up to find himself transformed into a sort of monstrous insect. There is no explanation given for this, it is just accepted as part of life. Likewise, in Camus' novel, the protagonist, Mersault, unwittingly murders an Arab man without ever knowing why. Mersault just accepts the murder as part of a strange/absurd world, and moves on with his life.
Both of these novels present absurdist views of the world. This can been seen from the first lines of both books. In The Stranger "Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday. I don't know" (3). In The Metamorphosis "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect"(3).
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Both of these beginning lines present completely absurd ideas in a very natural way, as if that sort of thing could happen any day. In the two sentences above, there is no questioning why such an event has occurred, just acceptance of the fact it has occurred. They both then go on to other subjects, Gregor attempts to get up and go to work, and Mersault talks about talking to his boss and going to the funeral, not as though they are unusual or sad things, but as if nothing at all has happened.
Absurdism is a good way to see the world, although perhaps without believing that events as extreme as happen in these two novels occur. It does seem that there is very little sense to the world though. It seems absurd that we as living beings can exist. The chances of this happening are extremely small, and although there may be more living beings somewhere in the universe, their existence must also be absurd, created by pure chance, and luck.

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Planet with possible life


Throughout both novels, there is also a theme of overwhelming acceptance of the fact that what has happened is in the past and that you should move on and live or die as you see fit. The protagonists realize that their lives do not actually matter or affect anything. Life outside the room and outside the prison goes on without them. This is also something that is true, at least for the common person. Although they may make a difference in their life, or the lives of a select few other people, after they are gone, life will go on without them. Death welcomes them to the "gentle indifference of the world" (Camus 122). Most people do not wish to accept this fact. Almost everyone likes to think that they have had a large affect on something in their lives, but if that were true, the world would have to be full of people who dislike compromise and love to control; people that are not strong willed in some fashion rarely make an impact anywhere. This would lead to more wars and more problems in the world, not less. Because of this I believe it makes sense to see the world from an absurdist's point of view. It makes less problems for the whole world.




Interesting about the metamorphosis

Artist's Statment
I created this multimodal essay because I thought it would be the best way I could present my thoughts on these matters, as I am generally terrible at anything to do with crafts or drawing. It hopefully conveys my thoughts about the two texts I have talked about, as well as some of my personal opinions on the subject of philosophy. I want it in a way that is easy to understand, and it want parts of it to be at least somewhat amusing (see above video). I think I have accomplished these tasks.