Imaginarium

Imaginarium

Imaginarium

In Metamorphosis there is a visible process of dehumanization, which can be grasped through the grotesque aesthetic proposed by Wolfgang Kayser, since it allows the approach to the process of degradation of the human being present in the work and in the society of that time.

The German critic had as historical purpose to understand the twentieth century; and the aesthetics of the grotesque is concerned with demonstrating the disorientation and absurdity of life, which is manifested in Kafka's work. The author revealed the impressions common to all contemporary men who were distressed to see how the adopted values ​​of previous generations were running out.

Kafka presented through his literature and the use of the grotesque, in this particular work, the uneasiness that society produced with its alienating effect. He exposed this dehumanization to allow the reader to distance himself and reflect. In this way, the writer evidenced a time and manifested the presence of elements of alienation in contemporary civilization, which reflect the crises and tensions that occur in the social and personal plane.

will be based, centrally, on Kayser's reflections on the grotesque as distance and strangeness of the world. His work `` The grotesque. Its configuration in painting and literature "is the first systematic attempt, in the twentieth century, to raise this question.

The author intended to give definite outline to the concept in terms of aesthetic category, and points to three domains : the creative process, the work and the perception of this.

According to the study, the full impact of the grotesque is attenuated with the second reading, and that which bursts remains unapprehensible, inexplicable. It produces an effect of disorientation, grief and shudder. Its releasing power is the ability to capture and conjure up the demonic in the world, and so the balance between terrible and ridiculous disappears.

To prove that the grotesque is a historical constant, Kayser underlines its central importance in art and literature of the twentieth century. That is why, at the moment of defining it, it insists on that disturbing and disturbing side that distances us from the comic.
The German critic points out that this aesthetic delimits the boundaries between reality and absurd, between mask and person; and thus produces the element of disharmony that characterizes it and exposes the absurd, degrading and surprising components. In his work liquidity, Zygmunt Bauman affirms that individualism marks relationships and transforms them into precarious, transitory and volatile. The characterization of modernity as a liquid time accounts for the transit of a solid constant that is stable and repetitive, to a liquid , which is flexible and voluble.

In it, social models and structures no longer exist what is necessary to adapt and govern the customs of citizens, due to the transformations and losses that occur. In Kafka's work, as a result of the metamorphosis, Gregor is isolated from his family, who welcome guests into his home for an improvement in family finances; such is the importance of money and not so much of the family bond, which can be seen reflected in this thought of the main character: "How the guests eat and I here dying!" (Kafka, 2010, p: 59)

In turn, his study was limited to describing the contradictions and tensions not only social but also existential that are generated when humans relate.
Therefore, there is an inconsistency of human bonds, because these bonds seem to depend only on the benefits they generate. Another literary example is the moment in which Gregor, sensitized by the music that executes his sister, approaches and is discovered by the guests. They, realizing their presence, decide to leave the house without paying and the sister reacts with an excessive statement: "we have to try to get rid of him" (Kafka, 2010, p: 63)

It is known that feelings can create dependence, therefore, it is held that in alienated relationships and those that are not, it is better to disassociate quickly. Such is the case of the attendant who goes to the house to look for Gregor and flees to notice the situation: "I was already in the hall, and in view of the speed with which he lifted his foot for the last time from the room, (Kafka, 2010, p: 28) In other words, the art of truncating relations, of disconnecting, of anticipating decrepitude is cultivated; this "art" reflects transient and volatile states. Likewise, love and body decay: "Gregor, in spite of his painful and disgusting current appearance, was a member of the family, who could not be considered an enemy, but against whom the family duty was to suppress disgust and resign , just resign yourself. " (Kafka, 2010, p: 52)

Like body and love, relationships also decay. In "The Metamorphosis" can be reflected in the relationship of Gregor with his father: "The father closed his fist threatening, as if he wanted to push Gregor back to his room" (Kafka , 2010, p: 26)

"[...] the father had decided to bomb it" (Kafka, 2010, p: 50) Another concept that is related to dehumanization is deterritorialization, where the appropriation of the territory has gone from be a resource to be a hindrance. While Gregor emptied the room to move more comfortably, they were taking away all hope of improvement, animalizing it at a certain point and increasing its degradation and dehumanization:

"Did you really want to make the cozy room furnished comfortably, with family furniture, in a cave where it could crawl? " (Kafka, 2010, p: 45)

"They emptied his room, robbed him of what he loved." (Kafka, 2010, p: 46)

Bauman also uses the concept of human waste to refer to the unemployed who are considered as isolated, isolated people. In the case of the Kafkaesque, this is considered by Gregor, because he does not contribute anything to the family, so they are no longer able to tolerate it: "We must get rid of him," repeated the sister "(Kafka 2010, Within this concept one has the presence of the alienation generated by the modality of work:

"He was a slave of the chief, without dignity or consideration" (Kafka "Why had Gregor been condemned to work in a company in which the slightest mistake was immediately the source of the greatest suspicion, is that each and every one of the employees, without exception, were scoundrels? " (Kafka, 2010, p: 19)

In addition to work and its labor relations, society is also reflected in the disintegration of Gregor's family. It does not seem to matter the disappearance of the latter at the end of the work; they follow their life happily, which alludes to the lack of attention of society towards the individual.

The metamorphosis occurs on several levels and Gregor is not alone in this transformation, but also in his home, his family and his economic situation. And in all of them, aspects of the grotesque intervene, because they capture the spirit of the time and its dehumanizing factor.

Therefore, it could be said that Kafka made use of the grotesque as a method of understanding of the twentieth century and the dehumanization that operated on him, presenting an untimely vestige of his time by exhibiting society as degrading.

Sources
Mayra Valije, Kafka, Kayser and the dehumanization, Writers.org , August 24, 2015.
Kafka, Franz, The metamorphosis , Buenos Aires: Wolfgang, The grotesque: his configuration in painting and literature , trad. Ilse M. de Brugger, Buenos Aires: Nova, 1970. - Fernández Ruiz, Beatriz, From Rabelais to Dalí: The grotesque image of the body , University of Valencia, 2004.
Vásquez Rocca , Adolfo, Zygmunt Bauman: Liquid Modernity and Human Fragility, Transversals , Madrid, 2012.

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