Metamorphosis vs Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner: Compare & Contrast
In the ‘loneliness of the long-distance runner’, Colin smith faces emotional alienation and he turns to run in an effort to succumb to this plight. Smith was a teenager from a poor family in Nottingham and his life mainly revolved around petty crimes. He turns to long-distance running as a strategy of physical and emotional escape from his situation. When he was arrested by police after robbing a bakery then confined in a borstal at Essex. He was detained with highly restrictive circumstances and bleak circumstances. He decides to seek solace in running (Kafka 12). This attracted the attention of the school’s authority. The long-distance running offered him a distraction from the brutal treatment of the Borstal. He was promised a light workload if he won the race against a prestigious school. Winning the race would have provided a boost for the prison school’s public image.
On the day of the race, Smith lets victory slide away by stopping before the finishing line and letting the other runners pass him. He deliberately stopped running a few meters before the finishing line. This was a defiant gesture to his captors at Borstal and other repressive forces that the facility represented. His deliberate losing depicts his free spirit and independence which he has acquired by using his metaphor in long-distance running. This helped him break away from the detaining, repressive thoughts and experiences of the Borstal. It helped him escape his plight (Kafka 46).
The Metamorphosis involves a story about a character named Gregor Samsa, who turns into an insect, which is referred to as a giant bug. In this extract, I begin by focusing on Family segregation and its impacts on an individual. Segregation refers to the act of forceful separation from people based on something that makes an individual indifferent from the rest. This can be because of some deformity, social status in the society, financial status, or the job title you hold. In most cases, alienation comes in when a group of people takes sides on an opinion. ‘The Metamorphosis’ illustrates in a number of ways the effects segregating a family member. For instance, Gregor was not able to come out of the room because of changes in his body. His parents insisted on entering his room and saw the immediate physical state of Gregor (Sillitoe 32). When the clerk sees the present state of Gregor, he retreats in a manner likely to suggest that their normal form of interaction had changed. The father also sees him at this stage and begins to weep. Alienation is also evident when Gregor prompts the clerk to defend him and inform his superiors that he will report to the workplace within the shortest time possible after getting well. The clerk retreats and does not even give Gregor an ear. He rushes his way out of the house, never turning back. Moreover, his mother also backs away from Gregory and in the event knocks down a coffee pot that caused a commotion. Gregor’s father uses a walking stick to usher Gregor back into his room, which is inhuman. In this extract, the author clearly brings up the subject matter and heightens it where we see Gregor resorting to solitude and in the confines of his room.
Basing on the fact that Gregor was once a member of that family makes it sound disrespectful to him, which is an advanced level of family segregation. In the process of guiding him to his room with a walking stick, he injures him and slams the door. The door is locked from outside, making it impossible for Gregor to open it from within (Sillitoe 87). His freedom denied and that his survival is dependent on his family members. Moreover, no one talks to Gregor directly. They have already formed an opinion about him on the basis that he cannot be able to comprehend the normal conversations being carried out by normal human beings. Therefore, he is able to get information about what is happening through eavesdropping to pick up whatever the family is talking about.
Through this, Gregor finally comes to realize that he no longer considered an asset to the family since he does not have an income now. Previously, he was the breadwinner and the family cherished him as a provider. However, at this stage when he has been incapacitated, the family sees no value and importance of Gregor. It is a very difficult moment for Gregor, which also affects her sister whom he had saved some money for, to go to a school and perfect her skill in playing the violin (Sillitoe 101). The sister pours food away before even having a taste of it. The situation heightens and Gregor reaches a point where he starts reflecting his life and feels the hollowness and loneliness. Eventually, Gregor dies and his family is very happy about it. The metaphor, therefore, was not of use to him because he finally meets with the harsh realities.
In my own experience, I use reading as my main metaphor. I never mind being referred to as a book worm since my place of residents are in the books and the literature pieces that I find so amazing to review and read. It has helped me have a greater insight into a lot of life’s issues and it has helped me find refuge when a mock of solitude and boredom is over me. It is almost true that I connect with books better than I do connect with people. I feel like I hear them louder and they listen to me attentively.
Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis. New York: Start Classics, 2013.
Sillitoe, Alan. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013.