Albert Camus ‘s The Outsider and Franz Kafka ‘s The Metamorphosis both considered to be literary chef-d’oeuvres challenge the philosophies associated with adult male ‘s being in a peculiar society who decides these societal norms. This essay discusses about the characters Mersault and Gregor who are a pronounced contrast to the conventions of the society. Their behavior struggles with the image of a normal adult male and shows that they do non follow the societal conventions. The Outsider narrates the narrative of a adult male who lives his life on his ain caprices and illusions and is detached from normal society, the effects of which is captivity that Camus portrays every bit farcical. In The Metamorphosis, the supporter Gregor Samsa finds himself transformed into a varmint, therefore transfiguring his life everlastingly and how it influences him to get a fresh position of his household and societal beliefs contrary to what he adhered to earlier.
Gregor and Mersault find it hard to come to footings with these societal beliefs and life becomes suffering for Mersault by virtuousness of this after his female parent dies and Gregor, after he is physically transformed all at one time into a varmint. The decease of Mersault ‘s female parent does non concern him.Consequently, he does non demo any marks of mourning or has light involvement in go toing his female parent ‘s funeral alternatively wishes that he was at his place in bed. When Mary Cardona asks Mersault to get married her, his disinterest in matrimony is declarative of his incredulity in the establishment of matrimony as a societal committedness. Similarly, his friend Raymond who does non hold any regard for adult females portions cold and degage personalities with him who remain distant from the society they are set in.
Though Gregor and Mersault do non portion similar personalities, their quandary is unusually the same. They find themselves caught in state of affairss where they respond in a manner that suggest their mental instability. When on the one manus, Gregor is mentally sane but notices a extremist alteration in his household ‘s attitude towards him after this physical transmutation, on the other manus, Mersault who is physically capable is internally disturbed and depersonalized ; he is incapable of responding to societal norms. He is an dreamer and can non associate to these norms. He has spiritually estranged himself from the society he lives in and does non belong to it.
1 ” Immediately after my apprehension I was questioned several times. But it was merely a affair of happening out who I was, which did n’t take long. The first clip, at the constabulary station, cipher seemed interested in my instance. A hebdomad subsequently though, the analyzing magistrate eyed me with wonder. But to get down with he merely asked me my name and reference, my business and my day of the month and topographic point of birth. Then he wanted to cognize if I ‘d take a attorney. I confessed that I had n’t and inquired as to whether it was perfectly necessary to hold one ” that is treated as the karyon of the narrative. After Mersault commits a slaying and is imprisoned, he gets several opportunities to alter his life and reconstruct some sense of balance in it, but alteration is something that Mersault hated. ”
A ego centered and passionless character like Mersault did non believe in a life based on social norms. When tried to be taught soberness he misconstrues everyone. Likewise, Gregor is besides a degage individual, before being transformed into a varmint. He did non hold many friends and had ever been a lone wolf by nature. Gregor ‘s whole life turns upside down after transforming into an insect. Before this physical transmutation he worked as a salesman who looked after his household and their demands to the best of his ability, but he felt desolate as he felt that his life hinged upon the fact that he was the exclusive breadwinner of his household. His household does non outright cull Gregor after he turns into an insect but bit by bit they disapprove of his being and get down keeping a distance from him.
2 ” he believed he had to supply his household with a pleasant, contented, unafraid life by giving himself, by selling himself to his concern. The mutual relationships are based upon secret computations and via medias, the effects which are no longer suspected by anyone. ”
Kafka describes Gregor as an person who does non desire to take his life based on a certain set of societal norms. However, as he is placed in a coercive state of affairs, his transmutation into a varmint may be the consequence of this deep frozen dissatisfaction.
From a psychological point of position, both Mersault and Gregor feel neglected at an emotional degree and this greatly impacts their being in their several societies. They tend to gyrate up into their ain egos and garbage to subject themselves to conventions. There is an emotional vacuity in both of them which can non be fulfilled by conventional societal norms. Mersault peculiarly is of delinquent nature and is non capable of exposing emotions like love, felicity and attention ; he can be coined as the perfect psychopath. The firing inquiry here would be what function the society has to play with the province of head that Mersault and Gregor have. They both fail to link with their fellow human existences at a cardinal degree. Gregor is an foreigner among his ain people and Mersault is a societal castaway. The mental province of Mersault and Gregor ( after his being transformed into a varmint ) is that of rebellion ; they are seeking an single individuality of their ain and are happening the society around them and its mechanism cliched and one sided. Hence their head rebellions against this being and they decide to battle it. Had Gregor non been transformed into an insect he would ne’er hold seen the true colors of his household and the society he lived in. Mersault has already given up hope on his societal being. He feels that he does non belong to this universe and his province of head does non give him any hope. He is excessively heartsick of his ain life which is the ground that he does non even raise any expostulation to his decease sentence. In the terminal, Gregor excessively dies a pathetic decease ; he dies an insect ‘s decease because he was no longer of any usage to his household, he was an burden to them and he was at the terminal of his leash populating on their commiseration.
The Outsider and The Metamorphosis nowadays this component of “ disaffection ” synonymous with the authors that are perceived to permeate society in general. Camus and Kafka, both are existentialist authors and through the word picture of their characters they ask serious inquiries to the designers of ‘society ‘ . Does the society ever have to hold an upper manus in make up one’s minding how our societal behavior should be? Make all societal conventions benefit the human race or are they thrust upon us?
The Outsider, in short, is a authoritative dreamlike fabrication of how our life would be affected if we defy our societal being and turn blind to it. The metabolism of the lead character in The Metamorphosis pitted against stableness of the social conditions challenges the set of behavioural theoretical accounts and regulations that are assimilated within the society. Both Kafka and Camus force their readers to believe about life and human being from an uncannily different point of position and non yield to societal conventions that are forced upon us coevals after coevals.