Writers apply a wide range of strategies in expressing the points they want their readers to understand. Basically, all authors are usually interested in delivering a particular message to the readers; however, the approach used to deliver the points is what varies. Magical realism is one of the most conventional strategies that is used in literature. The aspect is characterized by a cross between the real and the unreal. The author uses typically situations that seem unrealistic or exaggerated to explain a real situation. One of the stories in which magical realism is conspicuous is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. The author applies the happenings that seem unrealistic to highlight particular truths.
Magical realism in literature is sometimes viewed as a trend that was common at a time around World War I. magical realism was rediscovered with symbolism and was used by authors to express their messages indirectly through the use of magic or unrealistic situations. One of the stories that are widely associated with the blurring real and unreal is Metamorphosis. In various sections of the story, Kafka applies the art of blending his plain reality with the illusionary world of his nightmares. One of the scenes in which Kafka expresses the amalgamation of reality and fantasy is when Gregor turns into a cockroach. The unrealism aspect of the part is turning into a cockroach, and it is pure imaginary because such a thing cannot happen in real life. Regardless of the unrealistic nature of the part, the imaginary turning into a cockroach has been used by Kafka to express a real point concerning the kind of treatment that Gregor was getting from his family members.
Writers mix the genres of allegory, symbolism, and surrealism and are indistinguishable when applied in the use of unrealistic elements into a realistic situation. In Metamorphosis, Kafka describes the happenings within the Samsa household by using unrealistic situations to pass a point about the relationship between the main character, Gregor, and his family members or the society at large. Kafka says that Gregor woke up some morning from a troubled dream and discovered that he had changed in his bed into a monstrous kind of vermin. In such scenes, the reader may fail to comprehend the intent for such a situation; however, the author uses the description for a specific purpose.
The strategy that Kafka uses in his story seems more overpowering, and the use of symbolic names or human cockroaches create a kind of electric field and carries aspects that have extra meanings. In the case of Gregor in the story, the real sense of the unrealistic situation of turning into a cockroach is that he was being seen as a nuisance by his family members. The purpose of the case is mainly to equate Gregor to that creature that is considered an annoyance in the house. Gregor was sick, and none of his family members was willing to assist him throughout his suffering; instead, he was bullied and mistreated in their house. When Kafka says that Gregor woke up and discovered that he had turned into vermin, the pragmatism of the story is that he was being seen as a useless person. In another scene, Gregor is transformed into a disposable resource that its significance is over and should be disposed off. The fact that Gregor is referred to as a disposable object does not imply in real that he has turned into something else. The author uses the opportunity to express the truth about how he had become useless in the community. Gregor was of no value, and no one was willing to support him in the hardships that he was facing.
Understanding the use of imaginary realism requires the probing of the extra meaning that the unrealistic statements bear. Understanding the text by Kafka requires momentarily putting aside the unreality element that creates the field and measures the additional values that the unrealistic aspects carry. Imagination is usually fundamental when reading such a text because it determines the chances of the reader to understand the text. Reading imaginatively helps to understand the field of imaginary realism and then applying the knowledge to understand the meanings that the unrealistic occurrences carry. Lack of critical thinking and analysis when reading text such as Metamorphosis by Kafka can result in missing crucial implications brought by the unrealistic elements. When a reader does not understand the significance of the unrealistic elements in a text, he or she can easily be dazzled and fail to see the meaning behind them.
Magical realism is a common element that is frequently applied in the literature to deliver particular information to the reader. The unrealistic elements usually have real meanings, and the reader needs to analyze while reading to establish the real sense. Such an aspect is evident in the story Metamorphosis by Kafka. The description that Gregor has turned into a cockroach carries the meaning that he has become a useless person and a nuisance in their house. Critical analysis id necessary when reading to comprehend the significance of magical realism in a text.
Kafka, Franz, and General Press. Metamorphosis. General Press, 2016.