Connection between environment and death
There is aspect of death in The Stranger and The Metamorphosis by Albert Camus and Franz Kafka respectively. Both authors show us that death will always relate o the environment in which they occur. There are two deaths in the two books; one death is that of Gregor which occurs in his bedroom while the other death is that of Arab which relates to the environment surrounding both him and Muersault. The authors employ many techniques in the course of their narration. The most commonly used tools are symbolism and which they use as a description of the items of the environment so that they are able to portray and foreshow death. Another tool is the use of imagery in which the two authors describe the environment with it. In The Stranger, the mother of Meursault is somehow strange because the son does not seem to care even a wink.
The environment lived can be depicted to be that without care and console. In the first page of the novel, we are confronted with death where Meursault's mother dies and he shows no care at all about it. "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got the telegram from the home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday" (3). The environment controls the way someone lives and will in turn control the way someone dies. No matter what we do in life, we will always be the minority in everything. If we had all characters behaving like Meursault who have little regard to what is happening in their environment, then we will always be controlled by the environment and death will always find us where the environment has placed us.
There are several instances in the first chapter that the environment and sleep are connected. Camus could be using sleep as a symbol for death. There are many instances where Meursault falls asleep in the first chapter. The first time where he fell asleep is when he was in the bus when he was traveling home. He gives several reasons why this could have happened. He alludes to the fact that the environment could have contributed to this (Ibon, 2008). We are then made to believe that the sleep that he encounters is way beyond his control. Every time he sleeps, he gives the factors in the environment which could have led to sleep. It is then believable that the sleep occurred and can occur because of the environment in which we live. Anybody could have slept given the same situations in which Meursault was in. taking this to be equivalent to death, we are then made to believe that death can occur basing on the environment in which we are in. we have no control of what will happen to us. The environment is the one which will affect the death which will finally fall on us. There is a connection of the sleeping character of Meursault with that of the environment.
In the Metamorphosis, Gregor portrays death when he stands on the window and controls himself not to commit suicide. In this instance, there is a notion that death will manifested in other environments than in others. In our case, every time Gregor stood on the window pane, he started thinking of ending his life. "I stood at the window for a long time and pressed myself against the pane, and several times I felt like frightening the toll collector on the bridge with my fall" (67) (Kafka, 1999). In the first chapter also, death is depicted when Gregor says, "To hell with it!" In this sentence, the author could probably be talking of death and not Shah 8 just quitting his job. Kafka reflects many physical aspects of his life and sees that death is hanging on him in most instances.
In both of these novels, we find that death occurs basing on the environment in which one lives. The two authors are not talking directly about death; they are using imagery and symbolism to portray the two. In The Stranger, the author uses sleep to bring out clearly about it and in The Metamorphosis, the author uses remarks which are clearly depicting death.
In The Metamorphosis, Kafka gives a description of the dull environment which symbolizes the life that Gregor, the main character, lived. Gregor's life was such a dull one. His environment was also a dull one which gives the reason why his life deteriorated in the end. When Gregor opens his eyes, he finds himself having being transformed into a big gigantic insect and he was lying in a position which was uncomfortable. In that position, he though of the environment in which he lived and the death that will eventually catches up with him. It is here that he thought about the eventual being he is going to be. He thinks of the creature that he has become. He thinks hard of the environment in which he lives and how the environment is connected with his destiny.
"He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like belly divided into stiff arched segments." (Kafka 296). The story gives a description of the author who had a hostile upbringing. In most of the descriptions that is seen in the book, the author describes his father as tyrannical. He constantly lived in fear. When he wrote The Metamorphosis, he was abandoned by the whole family. Initially, he used to provide for the family. Given the environment in which he lived when he was young, he was left to die alone in bed. In this regard, the environment comes out clearly here in the sense that his closest people have had no regard in his quest in providing the family. Due to this, he starts thinking of weird things in his life which later lead to his death.