A Woman's Path To Adulthood In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold And The Metamorphosis

1070 words - 4 pages

Cultural differences can be quite astonishing. Languages, rituals, and gender roles can all vary greatly. However there are some constants to be found. It seems that, historically, women have been restricted by a double standard in societies around the globe. Those actions celebrated for men are extremely frowned upon for women. Young girls growing up also seem to have certain boundaries that simply don’t exist for boys. Due to these facts it can be shocking when a young woman is forced to grow up unexpectedly because they are usually viewed as too fragile, too beautiful, too sheltered, or a combination of these. In each The Metamorphosis and Chronicle of a Death Foretold the weight of adulthood acts upon two young women, Grete Samsa and Angela Vicario with the same force.In The Metamorphosis Grete is first seen as spoiled and somewhat lazy. When her older brother, Gregor, is already on his way to work he observes, “she had probably just gotten out of bed” (Kafka 17). Nothing is really expected from Grete. There’s little schooling or household chores to speak of while she spends most of her days practicing her violin in the hopes of attending a conservatory. Grete leads her life in the restricted confines of her family’s apartment. Readers of this novel never hear of any friends, parties, or outings that would be normal for any other girl her age. Grete is sheltered by everyone in her family, even her older brother, who provides as much as he can and even wishes to surprise her with school tuition. Once her family life is turned upside down by Gregor’s transformation into a dung beetle, more responsibility is thrown upon her. With her family’s growing debt in the wake of Gregor’s unemployment she is forced to find a job, give up hopes of going to a specialized school, and act as a constant mediator between Gregor and her family causing her to seem “more lively all the time” (Kafka 52). Adult pressures are coming from all angles in Grete’s new life and she can no longer regain the innocence she once possessed. Desperation drives most of Grete’s decisions from this point on and desperate people tend to be harshest. Her position in adulthood is cemented when she has to make a choice between life and death. Grete’s constant overload of tasks leaves her resentful towards Gregor, whom she is obligated to care for. When his health begins to fail she doesn’t make any attempts to help him recuperate. Being the only person in the household willing to care for the creature she alone ushers Gregor into death. Reversing the path to childhood is now impossible, especially now that her parents have decided it “time to find a good husband for her” (Kafka 52). Although the catalyst of change was beyond Grete’s control, her decisions have earned her a permanent place in adulthood.The beautiful Angela Vicario of Chronicle of a Death Foretold has been groomed into perfection, as...

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