Literature Philosophy Paper.

Both Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness and Franz Kafkas The Metamorphosis are about looking beneath the surface. Explain, as thoroughly as possible, how each of these literary works is about looking beneath the surface. Also, explain, as thoroughly as possible, what is found in each case by looking beneath the surface.
In his Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad skillfully develops the theme of looking beneath the surface, in particular, beneath the surface of human civilization when human receive considerable power and entitlements. The novella describes events associated with the colonization of Africa, the Dark Continent.  The main character is employed by a Belgian concern, created to trade with Congo allegedly to help Africans improve the quality of their life. In reality, from his first days, Marlow sees how the Company oppresses the native people they are forced to work for the colonists almost for free in terrible conditions and suffer from overwork and ill treatment ( Conrad, 2008, Part II). Furthermore, Kurtz, the typical colonist, positioned himself in the indigenous community as a deity by using inhumane methods, and when Marlow and his crew approach  the Inner Station, they see a collection of severed heads on fences. Furthermore, Kurtz, who perceives his entitlements as unlimited, undertakes bloody ivory raids in the surrounding territories. His pathetic papers describing the opportunities which colonization might bring to the natives end with the following urge Exterminate all the brutes (Conrad, 2008, Part III). Therefore, such terms as rich culture, morality, humanity and civilization lose their meaning for those who get an opportunity to execute power over the weaker without being controlled.
In The Metamorphosis, the author questions the power of family bonds and shows their reverse side by turning his protagonist into a beast (Kafka, 2003). Gregor, a successful salesman, wakes up one morning and finds out he has transformed into a huge beetle, yet having the mind of a human-being. Although he tries to maintain the relationships with his mother, father and sister, they apparently reject the main character, dooming him to isolation. Although Gregor was the familys breadwinner and loved son and brother, they quickly forget his devotion and become disappointed given the disappearance of their source of material well-being. Although they continue to help him meet his basic needs, their feelings gradually shift from indifference to hatred. When Gregor undertakes his final attempt to reunite the family and leaves his room to listen to the melody his sister is playing, he hears Greta saying that he is not a human any longer and the family should get rid of him. Although the images in the story are grotesque and unrealistic, it might mean that beneath the surface of seemingly strong psychological bonds in the family one can find merely market relations in which one member receives care, attention as long as the others can use him or her as a source of financial support. But when this person develops a serious illness or disability, they become redundant.
2)The main characters in both Thomas Manns Tonio Kroger and Albert Camuss The Stranger are, in one sense or another, outsiders. Explain, as thoroughly as possible, how the main characters in each of these literary works is an outsider. Then explain, as thoroughly as possible, how being an outsider plays a role in what the main character in each case, Tonio and Meursault, eventually learns about himself.
In Camuss The Stranger, the main character can be described as an outsider, as he is not connected to this world and this life either socially or emotionally. For instance, he falls asleep at his mothers funeral, which can be interpreted as a lack of social competence and feelings children normally have for their parents.  He agrees to marry his girlfriend Marie only after she explains that it would be a great choice and people who have a romantic relationship should register it officially (Camus, 1942, p.24). Moreover, when Mersault feels aggression concerning the Arab on the beach, he simply murders his irritant without any reflections about the moral and social value of human life.
In the prison Mersault spends a long time in solitary confinement and thinks a lot about the sense of human life. As an outsider, who never experienced psychological involvement into society, he realizes that his attitude towards the world is the same as the worlds towards him As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself  so like a brother, really  I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again (Camus, 1942, p.65). Therefore, the man realizes he is an ordinary person who was born and will die and have no further importance, so but he, luckily, has never sought to become important and has been happy in his careless and simplistic attitude towards the world.  
Tonio Kroger, the main character of Manns story of the same name, is a person of sensitive nature. From his early years, he perceives himself as different from his coevals who seem motivated for engaging with social life and more extraverted. As a child, Tonio feels envy for the vitality and vigor inherent to his friends Hans and Ingeborg and is not able to accept the middle-class values his parents share (Mann, 1999, p.5). Further, he develops into a talented writer and comes to idea that a creative person should remain estranged from society and to certain degree  from reality. However, when Tonio happens to meet a dancing couple who resemble Ingeborg and Hans, he finally recognizes his love for humanity. Inspired by the two beautiful people emanating love for each other and the world, Tonio comes to conclusion that an artist or writer should be able to reconcile such facets of existence as art and reality, nature and intelligence, the material and the spiritual.


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