We may like it or not, but we live in a Kafkaesque world. And the sooner one understands it, the better they can handle what, at first, might seem surreal to them. I personally think that it’s not that bad, it’s all about how you respond to the whirlwind of seemingly illogical episodes appearing in the apparently well-written script of your life. If only we tried to understand the logic behind them, it would be much easier to take the right attitude. Everything that happens in one’s life, happens for a reason, and one should find this reason in order to become more confident.
I may be wrong, and my perception of reality may also be erroneous, but from what I’ve seen so far I’m inclined to think that I’m right. Let’s take, for example, the statuses that we post on Facebook. Haven’t you posted/read something that otherwise would sound absolutely surreal? I have (and I’m not talking about the political situation in my country). There’s nothing wrong in sharing them, it’s a way people try to make heads and tails of the absurd problems they face. It’s not that they are looking for an answer, it’s more like voicing their desire to come to grips with a certain system/problem/situation. It also shows their attitude, maybe they look for support or want to warn others…
Now coming back to Kafka. I know that my predilection for his works might look strange to people who know me rather well. But, in small doses, it does no harm 🙂
So it has never happened to you, to wake up from anxious dreams, flickering helplessly only to realize that it’s not actually a dream. It has never happened to you to feel an insignificant, clumsy bug on its back that can’t move. (I know that we, humans, pretend to be almighty, isn’t this, by the way, absurd???) It has never happened to you to be caught in the whirlwind of the meaningless consumerism. It has never happened to you to feel fear that you won’t be accepted the way you are, and that you have to change (or hide) your inner nature so that you are one of the herd. It has never happened to witness ‘constantly changing human relationships which never come from the heart’ (all are so genuinely honest, aren’t they?). It has never happened to you to find no cooperation, to say nothing about understanding, at your workplace. It has never happened to you to be treated as a nuisance only because you are exhausted, completely worn-out. It has never happened to you to face all alone unexpected problems. It has never happened to you to feel the impotence of changing the current situation. It has never happened to you to be misunderstood by your own family. It has never happened to you to be surrounded by indifferent people, and you still care about them.
If it hasn’t, then definitely it’s difficult to understand the story of Gregor Samsa, a former travelling salesman. Although he tried so hard to readjust himself to the surreal conditions he got into, he still didn’t succeed. The acute sense of alienation he is doomed to feel leads to his tragic death. It’s a sad story of a misunderstood and rejected creature who can’t be accepted due to the changes that have happened in him (changes that he might not even have been responsible for).
So for me, The Metamorphosis, is not surreal as there’s always a change happening in us or around us. It’s real. It rather makes me think of how I would react to the changes happening in me or around me. It’s a way of accepting or adjusting (as it’s quite impossible to reject) a new reality, no matter how surreal it might seem. It’s a way to embrace the Gregor Samsa in me or in others and keep going, which is quite an endeavour.
This is why I like reading literature because it helps me RE-discover, RE-adjust, RE-consider, and definitely re-THINK!
Enjoy reading and stay positive 🙂