Midaq Alley Analysis

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The Theme of Work in Metamorphosis and Midaq Alley In Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Mahfouz’s Midaq Alley, the characters are all stifled by their need for work, which defines how well they will be recognized and respected in society. The residents of Midaq Alley, Cairo struggled to elevate their social status and their consciousness was disrupted by war. In Metamorphosis, which is set in Prague shows how Gregory Samsa, work hard to provide for his family until he transformed into a giant bug due to the heavy burden placed on him to be the breadwinner. Therefore in both texts, work is a theme that has defined the sole purpose of mankind’s life. The character Gregory Samsa in Kafka’s Metamorphosis is a perfect example of how work played a significant…show more content…
Gregory hates his job as a travelling salesman but performs his duty due to the new responsibility that has befallen to him as the provider of the family. Therefore, in order to keep the family unit together, he must work. “Gregor’s sole desire was to do his utmost to help the family to forget as soon as possible the catastrophe that had overwhelmed the business and thrown them all into a state of complete despair” implied that work was the most important factor that could change his family fortune. (p. 5) For the Samsa’s, work was a part of life and when work was non-existent, despair followed closely behind. In 1912, Prague was rapidly developing its industries and work was an integral part of development. However, this industry and development created alienation and rupture in the household, for men no longer had any sentimental values and ties to the home. Basically, work was their lives. In the article, A Study of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, “Man has become the slave of the unknown law of the impersonal ‘one’ to such an extent that he does not know about his own self or his inner life any longer at all,” explains that men have become alienated, slave to work that he has lost his individuality…show more content…
Due to those circumstances, Gregor becomes the head of the household and works a job he despises. The Marxist theory explains that, the capitalist, also sets the conditions and speed of work and even decides if the worker is to be allowed to work or not, i.e. hires and fires him. At work, Gregor is only viewed for his potential to make money and is not appreciated by his employer. Therefore, when he undergoes his transformation as a bug, his employer did not pity his condition but instead fired him. According to the article entitled, A Study of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, he begs the clerk to stand up for him insisting that he is extremely dedicated and loyal and that he must provide for his family. He makes excuses, though at this point no excuses are necessary or helpful, and insists that he will get out of his difficulty and will work even harder when he returns.” However, all of these cries and pleas fell on deaf ears because his employers as Marxist Theory states, interest is on capital (money) not workers health or problems. In society, Gregor is incapable of producing and the company should simply move

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