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Contents

Page Introduction ............................................................................... v Teacher Notes ........................................................................... vii The Metamorphosis 1 Franz Kafka's Life as Surrealism ........................................ 1 .................................1, 2, 3 2 Eponyms and Kafkaesque Images in Part 1 of The Metamorphosis ............................................... 9 .............................4, 5, 6, 7 3 Metamorphosis as a Symbol in Parts 1 and 2 ................... 19 .................................... 8, 9 4 Four Causes of Alienation ................................................ 25 ................ 10, 11, 12, 13,14 5 The Individual and Society ............................................... 35 ...........................15, 16, 17 The Death of Ivan Ilyich 6 Russian Culture in the Nineteenth Century ...................... 41 ...........................18, 19, 20 7 Russian Patronymics and Diminutives ............................. 49 ...........................21, 22, 23 8 Problems in the Text and Posing a Thesis ......................... 57 ...........................24, 25, 26 9 Ivan Ilyich and the "Well Worn Path" ................................. 63 ...........................27, 28, 29 10 Culminating Events .......................................................... 73 .................................30, 31 Bibliography ............................................................................. 77 Handouts

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Lesson 1

Franz Kafka's Life as Surrealism

Objectives

· · · · To define the concepts of surrealism and existentialism To understand the author's background and the time period To examine the philosophical context of The Metamorphosis To connect surrealism in art to existentialism in literature surrealism on the viewer and the relationship of surrealism to existentialism and the time period. The following Web sites may be useful for this lesson: · · · Artcyclopedia (http://www.artcyclopedia. com) Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.org) The Existential Primer (http://www. tameri.com/csw/exist/)

Notes to the Teacher

One of the difficulties in teaching The Metamorphosis is the abstract nature of the work and the absurdity of the opening scene. Students struggle to make sense of The Metamorphosis, particularly due to the embedded themes of alienation and persecution. Additionally, the existentialist nature of the work can be confusing to contemporary students. On the other hand, the struggles of Gregor Samsa with his father and the insecurity of the main character speak directly to high school students. Since The Metamorphosis was written in 1915, after the outbreak of World War I, understanding the context of the work will help students determine meaning and make textto-self and text-to-world connections. This introductory lesson assists students in making those connections. Students are asked to make connections among Franz Kafka's life, his beliefs, and the predominant artistic movement of his time--surrealism. Students are naturally drawn to surrealistic art, with its enticing juxtaposition of incongruities. In this lesson, students create a word web for the terms existentialism and surrealism. After an introductory lecture on Franz Kafka's life and the influences on his style, students focus on symbols and themes that are evident in the beginning of the short novel. As the fi nal step in creating context for Kafka's work, students complete a WebQuest on surrealism and existentialism, which links to the opening word webs. As a part of this research WebQuest, students view several images of surrealism. They analyze the effects of

Prior to this lesson, students should have read all or most of part 1 of The Metamorphosis.

Procedure

1. Distribute Handout 1. Direct paired students to use dictionaries and other reference tools to complete two word webs on the terms existentialism and surrealism. Ask students to give feedback on the meaning and application of these concepts. Tell them that as they continue in this lesson, they will be able to complete more examples and clarifications. Suggested Responses: Part A. Existentialism Part of Speech--noun Defi nition--Existentialism, as used in this context, is a philosophy that emphasizes both the uniqueness of each individual's experience and his or her isolation in an indifferent universe. Because the events in human existence cannot be explained, one has freedom of choice and complete responsibility for his or her actions. Synonym--kierkegaard Antonym--any matter of faith that is optimistic Examples--Jean-Paul Sartre, Soren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Part B. Surrealism Part of Speech--noun 1

Defi nition--Surrealism, as used in this context, is a philosophy that aims for liberation of the mind by emphasizing the irrational workings of the subconscious. It also uses the juxtaposition of unexpected images. Synonyms--nonsequitur Antonym--rationalism Examples--André Breton, René Magritte, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dalí 2. Distribute Handout 2. Give biographical information on Franz Kafka in a mini-lesson; use the details from the biographical sketch in the introduction at the beginning of this unit. Encourage students to take notes. Stress such details as Kafka's relationship with his father, his studies, and his poor health. Additionally, persuade students to record the details about Kafka which illustrate his state as an outsider, linking to the definition of existentialism. Suggested Responses: 1. As a child, Kafka was lonely and insecure. He had a distant relationship with his stern father, who punished him for his introversion. For most of his life, Kafka battled fatigue, as well as headaches, insomnia, and tuberculosis, which eventually killed him at the age of forty-one. He led a solitary life, as he abandoned at least four plans to marry. His family was alienated because they were part of the Prague Circle, an elite German-speaking Jewish intellectual group. The family was distrusted by Czechs because they spoke German and despised by Germans because they were Jewish. 2. Details about the influences on Kafka's writing include that samsja in Czech means being alone. He was influenced by the emerging work of Freud and Kierkegaard. He also read Dostoyevsky, as well as the Torah and Talmud. His writings therefore include religious symbolism. 3. Religious symbolism includes the scarab beetle, venerated by the ancient Egyptians, and the apple, used as an example

of a fall from innocence. Other symbols include the music that Grete plays on her violin; locks and keys that serve as motifs throughout the work; windows; the hospital viewed from Gregor's window; and the motif of metamorphosis, which is used ironically in the title. 4. Themes include the dangers of alienation, meaningful and meaningless work, the futile search for significance in life, isolation from those one loves, and dysfunctional family dynamics as a destructive agent. 5. Elements of existentialism in part 1 include Gregor's unsatisfying job as a traveling salesman. There are many examples of the drudgery of his work; it is clear that he has no deep or lasting relationships. As the monstrous vermin, he is alienated from his normal self; also, his insect frame is terribly hurt, scraped, and oozing. The indifference of his manager to his condition is very clear, and Gregor frets because others cannot understand his speech. Additionally, Gregor is locked away from society. 3. Divide students into groups of three for a WebQuest activity focusing on surrealism and its connections with existentialism. Assign the following roles for the WebQuest: art historian with a background in Spanish art; art historian with a background in French art; modern philosopher. Try to match students to their interests or the language they may have studied. Provide the following directions: a. One art historian is to research Salvador Dalí's life and art and to print three examples of his work. b. Another art historian is to research René Magritte's life and art and to print three examples of his work. c. The modern philosopher is to gather in-depth information about the philosophy of existentialism, including reasons why Kafka is considered an existentialist.

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4. When students have completed their research, have them reconvene in groups of three to pool information and to show visual images. 5. Distribute Handout 3, and have the groups of three collaborate to complete it. Then conduct a general discussion based on students' research. Suggested Responses: 1. Spanish artist Salvador Dalí (1904­1989) is probably the most famous of the twentieth-century surrealists. His bizarre, distorted images, rendered with tremendous artistic skill, fascinate many people. Dalí was a prolific artist, so many examples of his work are available. 2. Belgian artist René Magritte (1898­1967). was likewise a surrealist, but his works tend to be more amusing and less threatening than those of Dalí. Magritte, too, produced many works during the course of a long career. 3. Like surrealism, The Metamorphosis combines bizarre and distorted images to depict the subconscious mind. 4. Both moments challenge traditional ways of thinking and standards of beauty. 6. Direct students to complete the reading of part 1 of The Metamorphosis.

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The Metamorphosis Lesson 1 Handout 1 (page 1)

Name_______________________ Date________________________

Word Webs: Existentialism and Surrealism

Part A. Directions: Using a dictionary and other reference tools, fill out the following web as completely as possible.

Part of Speech and Defi nition

Synonym

Examples

Antonym

Existentialism

Sentence

© COPYRIGHT, The Center for Learning. Used with permission. Not for resale.

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The Metamorphosis Lesson 1 Handout 1 (page 2)

Name_______________________ Date________________________

Part B. Directions: Using a dictionary and other reference tools, fill out the following web as completely as possible.

Part of Speech and Defi nition

Synonym

Examples

Antonym

Surrealism

Sentence

© COPYRIGHT, The Center for Learning. Used with permission. Not for resale.

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The Metamorphosis Lesson 1 Handout 2

Name_______________________ Date________________________

Franz Kafka and The Metamorphosis

Directions: Answer the following questions as a guide to summarize key points about Franz Kafka and his work. 1. What are some key details from Kafka's early life?

2. What are some major influences on Kafka's writing?

3. What symbolism emerges early in The Metamorphosis?

4. What themes are evident in the beginning of The Metamorphosis?

5. What elements of existentialism do you see in The Metamorphosis?

© COPYRIGHT, The Center for Learning. Used with permission. Not for resale.

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The Metamorphosis Lesson 1 Handout 3

Name_______________________ Date________________________

Surrealism and Existentialism: A WebQuest

Directions: Use the summary and the information you gathered in the WebQuest to respond to the the following items. Surrealism is a movement in art and literature that was founded in Paris in 1924 by the French poet André Breton during the period between the world wars. Along with René Magritte, Salvador Dalí removed all restraints from art. Surrealism as a movement represented a reaction against the political and cultural climate from the past that had resulted in the horrors of World War I. In particular, artists during this period were revolting against the constraints of rationalism. This twentieth-century literary and artistic movement attempts to express the workings of the subconscious mind. Surrealism is characterized by fantastic imagery and the juxtaposition of incongruous subject matter. It is closely related to the philosophy of existentialism in the nightmare qualities expressed as well as the visual references to alienation and isolation. 1. Describe Salvador Dalí's life and work, including specific works of art.

2. Describe René Magritte's life and work, including specific works of art.

3. Relate themes from surrealism similar to The Metamorphosis.

4. Relate elements of existentialism to surrealism.

© COPYRIGHT, The Center for Learning. Used with permission. Not for resale.

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