Unknowing Impact

Essay by karlabustos07High School, 12th gradeA, November 2014

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Karla Bustos

Hon English Pd.8



Unknowing Impact

"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." When Franz Kafka wrote these now famous words to his friend Oskar Pollak in 1904, he unknowingly foreshadowed the impact of his yet-unpublished novella The Metamorphosis on young writer Gabriel García Máquez reading him in translation in Bogotá, Colombia in the 1940s. Marquez agreed with Kafka's quote, he believed that the suffering that we experience is necessary for creativity. "I would not have traded the delights of my suffering for anything in the world" (Marquez). Kafka's profound influence lead to Marquez incorporating some of the same themes in his short stories, The Handsomest Drown Man in the World and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. Kafka and Marque both use isolation, transformation, and their own life experiences. Although, Isolation and the use of their own life experiences was where Kafka's influence departed, because they were only used in The Metamorphosis, and then The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.

Isolation was first introduced to the reader in The Metamorphosis. Due to him being turned into a " monstrous vermin" he decides to isolate himself from his family, because he does not want to be a burden. Gregor just stays in his room as much as he can, he barely eats, or interacts with anyone. Marquez did use isolation in his shot story, but he used it in a positive manner. The Handsomest Drown Man in the World explores the ways in which human beings overcome personal isolation through their collective community. The men, women, and children of this community are united by their common desire for self-improvement. Together, they imagine a better future for themselves, a future in which they are as extraordinary as the myths...