The plot revolves around Liutov, a young Jewish man serving in the Cossack Army during the Galician war. As a Jew, Liutov struggles with gender problems and a desire to belong to the infantry. His intellect does not help matters; instead, he is viewed as a wimpy and excessively sensitive person. To be welcomed by his new friends, he must un-become himself. He is going through an identity crisis and desperately wants to be accepted.
In order to gain approval, Liutov kills an old woman’s goose and orders her to prepare it for him. Inward, he knows that is not who he is, but he does it to please his fellow soldiers. Apparently, he feels unease as a Jew; that is why he wants to become more like the Cossack soldiers. More interesting is Liutovs admiration of the giant Savitsky, the army commander, despite his menacing character, he desires to be like him. Liutov eats pork alongside his army friends to rebel from his Judaism further, all in a bid to earn approval and showcase his disgust with the Jewish way of life.
An important aspect to note is that the woman he accosts is Jewish. She is also old and almost blind. Perhaps, this can be seen as an ironical way for him to show his toughness. Undoubtedly, the woman is helpless. While asleep and his legs intertwined with the soldiers, Liutov has dreams of women. Thus, it indicates how much he feels more at home with the Cossack soldiers than his Jewish self. His internal persists, despite his erratic misdoings, is still Jewish and intelligent! He remains a conflicted soul.
The Single effect in John Updike The A & P
Desire dominates this story. The moment the girls enter A & P, they draw the attention of men in the store. For their sexuality, these girls indeed have power over men. Although the three ladies pretend to be unaware of the effect of their presence in the store, they are fully aware that men are watching them. Queenie does it more than the others. Ignoring the apparent act by the girls to serve their purpose arouse desire among men. Indeed, this act succeeds as they all show interest. More intriguing is Lengel, who seems to cave in and show the sexual desire for the girls. Although Lengel confronts the ladies about their dressing and its effect on men, he fails as Queenie turns the tables on him, implying his inappropriateness.
The three girls behavior affects men at A & P. Lengel is only trying to be mature about this. He seeks to protect both men and girls when he confronts them. The men need protection from inappropriate desires awoken by the girls; need for sex. Ladies, on the other hand, risk being sexually abused by the obviously interested men.
The mens emotional feelings of lust make them desire sexual intimacy with the girls. They are driven by their hormones, rather than reason. As a result, they make lewd comments among themselves about the girls while staring at them. Sammy, who has a thing for Queenie, is perhaps the most affected of the group. The desire for Queenie does not entirely motivate his actions. He genuinely wants her, but passion cannot be ruled out as it is more profound for him. He decides to alter his life, although dramatically.
The Gothic in Kafka Metamorphosis
The story is about the tribulations of Gregory, a man who goes against his family and employer. At work, he breaks from being unquestioning and completely submissive. As a punishment, inexplicably and violently turns into an insect while asleep. It is horrific enough for a human to turn into any other living object, insect or not (Crockford n.p).
An accomplished global commercial traveler, Gregory, suffers from significant exhaustion as shown by his monologue. Additionally, he disagrees with Europes restriction of individual freedom. He rebels against these in a bid to reveal the problems working people in urban centers go through.
The grotesque nature of events Gregory goes through is unnerving. His psychological torture is only made worse by the physical pain he endures. Rather than his home being a source solace and peace, it adds more pain. Notably, it is turned into an army laboratory where experiments are conducted. He becomes its creation; being turned into a drone-like insect.
Expectedly, his family would be supportive of him. However, it is not the case as he is locked away in his bedroom so that no one could look at his devolving’ body. In his room, he changes his view on being powerless and turns into a terrible monster. His voice turns into one akin to animals. He also becomes terrifying and dangerous, in the author’s words, horrible vermin.’
His degradation into the monster bug is painful. He experiences itches on his belly, aching legs, and joints. As half-human, half-animal, Gregory goes through agonizing pain. Despite being intelligent and well-read, he seems resigned to this horrifying fate. There is nothing he can do in this demeaning state.
The Gothic in Nabokov Signs and symbols
The story is about the mentally-ill son of the elderly Russian parents. The plot is set with the couple traveling to visit their son in the mental institution. While on the train, it breaks down. The author uses the analogy of the train losing its life perhaps to predict death later on. The grotesque image of a dark-haired and red toe-nailed girl crying on an old womans shoulder is an indicator of weirdness and the horror to come (Baldwin n.p).
Typically, a subway is not associated with happiness. The author creates suspense, and thus, it is not clear whether the mother cries or not. Therefore, it is at the discretion of the reader to discern that. Being a horrifying story, it beats logic that it had to rain on the day parents were to visit their son. Thus, it could be used as a good indicator, but also symbolic of something dreadful.
The son is suffering from referential mania, a condition that makes him view everything around him as a reflection of his personality. The situation is an incurable and utterly inexplicable. His suicide attempts are a way for him to escape the entrapment of his case. The parents cannot see him on the day they visit.
He exhibits frightening behavior. His father and mother are troubled. Seemingly, fate has them cursed. Being so poor with such a weird son is painful for them to bear. The boy is troubled by monsters in his mind. His parent cannot help him as he suffers from a different reality. It is unnerving that he lives in this world, but in a different world altogether. There are also cases of mysterious phone calls where the caller fails to reach anyone.
The struggle for money in James Baldwin Sonnys Blues
In the search for cash, characters in this short story are forced to do things they would rather not. The story begins with an unidentified algebra teacher reading a troubling book while on the subway headed to school. His fear of his brother, Sonny, mounts. The brother has been arrested for selling heroin. Later in the day, he is told by Sonnys friend that he has been imprisoned. Were it not for money struggles; his brother would surely not have sold heroin (Golden 554571).
The teacher is also concerned about his students. He is afraid they may not amount to anything as a result of poverty. They are likely to drop out of school to sell drugs. In fact, he reckons that some of them may already be hooked on heroin and other drugs. Hearing them laugh during the school break is ironical. How could they express amusement in their predicament?
Many youngsters in Harlem are struggling with poverty. An example is Sonnys friend, who is almost in despair. He borrows money from the narrator to make ends meet. Although he is an addict just like Sonny, it is clear that he does this for lack of wealth and poverty. The narrator, feeling compassionate, gives him five dollars at the subway.
In a bid to be financially independent of his brother, the narrator, Sonny wanted to be a musician, whereby he discouraged him and instead let the brother stay with Isabel, his girlfriends parents where he plays odd music on the piano. Having failed to become a musician, he joins the army. All these are struggles for money. After release, the brothers get together, and Sonny does music again with the narrator’s acceptance.
The struggle for money in Birnam Wood by T. Coraghessan Boyle
The narrator begins the story with a downpour. He lives in a chicken shack, now converted into a rental house. Living in such abject conditions can be attributed to a struggle for money. He would love for the leaky house to be a cottage, but that is only in his imagination. In the rain, the place gets soaked as water enters through the holes on the roof (Boyle n.p).
In the search for money, the narrator works as a substitute teacher. He dislikes this job for its backbreaking nature, as well as being a thankless venture. He agrees that he does it for the money. He also buys cheap articles to keep Nora occupied. For example, he buys her a cheap TV and a small heater for warmth during the cold season. They live in poverty, characterized by lack of money. When the landlord finds Nora in bed with the TV on, he orders them out and cuts the electricity.
When evicted, they approach an old lady renting another summer house; they are presented with the constant problem of money. They do not have enough funds to pay the deposit. They could only afford the current month’s rent. Having a degree, she could also get a job and bring more money for sustenance. He even dreads phone call for they always mean money needed somewhere.
Nora gets a minimum wage job, working six nights a week. She does this for the sake of money, however little. Otherwise, who would love to enjoy working all those nights for such wages? The work means she would be gone all night, something they detest.
Baldwin, James. Sonny’s Blues Summary and Analysis of “Sonny’s Blues.” n.d. 11 December 2017
Boyle, T. Coraghessan. “Birnam Wood.” 2 September 2012. The new yorker. 11 December 2017
Crockford, Mary. “Gothic and Grimm: The grotesque and carnivalesque in Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and Mann’s “Death in Venice.”” 3 July 2016. Literoddity. 11 December 2017
Golden, Timothy Joseph. “Epistemic Addiction: Reading Sonny’s Blues with Levinas, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche.” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy,26.3 (2012): 554571. Print.
Sergay, Timothy D. “Isaac Babel’s Life in English: The Norton “Complete Babel” Reconsidered.” Translation and Literature,15.2 (2006): 238-253. Print.