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Essay Samples > Literary Analysis > The Wall
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The Wall

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The wall is a short story authored by Jean-Paul Sartre. The story was initially published in 1937 as a single story, but it was later collected in an anthology called the wall and other stories. The story chronicles the life of a political prisoner condemned to death by racist officials (Sartar, 1939). The main character gives up in live even before he is executed after learning of his imminent execution. The metamorphosis on, the other hand, is a short story that premiered in 1915. It features a travelling salesman who wakes up to realize that he has turned into a huge insect. Both stories creatively highlight the role and importance of alienation in several of ways.

Alienation means untying a person from his or her affections. Alienation, therefore, leaves a person with little options over vital aspects in life. Alienation has been brought forward through various forms in both stories. To begin with, the story of the wall details the life of a wretched political prisoner. In this case, the story used the aspect of death sentence to highlight the significance of alienation. Pablo used to enjoy life even though he was a prisoner but ones he learned of his impending execution, he gave up everything in life. According to him, life was not worth living, and he felt as if he had lost something quite invaluable (Sartar, 1939).

Condemning Pablo to death alienated him from the rest of society. His life was worthless because he was denied everything that was of value in his life. This explains why he did not want to cooperate with the police and refused to divulge the whereabouts of his friend to police. Alienation has been used in the story to separate Pablo from his pressures political activities. The protagonist had dedicated his life to fighting for his people. Even, though, he was in prison, he knew that still he has influence in the society. Prison only restricted his movements, but it did not confine his ideals from reaching the people. Condemning Pablo to execution hurt him and his mission immensely. Putting him to death row was like separating him from his life. That is the reason why he gave up in everything when he discovered that he was going to be executed (Sartar, 1939).

In the metamorphosis story, the role and significance of alienation is brought out through a character called Gregor Samsa. As a travelling sales man, Gregor did everything possibly to provide for his parents and sister. Gregor wake up one morning to realize that he had turned into a huge insect. This sudden change was a significant impediment to his life. Gregor refuses to acknowledge his new body and goes back to his bed. To his surprise, he discovers that he is unable to roll over as usual because of his new form. This situation tormented Gregor gravely because he knew things were no going to be easy for his parents. Gregor did everything he can in order to provide for his family (SparkNotes Editors, 2011).

In the metamorphosis story, Gregor was a victim of alienation. His transformation into a large insect robbed him of his life. Gregor could not handle being an insect because it meant that he was going to lose his job. Loosing his job meant that he was no longer going to provide for his family; something that he enjoyed doing with all his heart. He found himself in a position that he did not know how to handle. His transformation into a giant insect alienated him from the rest of society. He no longer enjoyed life the way he did before (SparkNotes Editors, 2011).

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