Patriarchy In Kafka's Metamorphsis And Asian Cultures

978 words - 4 pages

(Although most cultures cannot be generalized with certain behaviours, however, certainJapanese traditions and values are common to all their people and is taught to them froma very early age. The practice of having the son of a family to look after his parents, asmentioned later, is common to both Japanese and Chinese cultures.)In our studies of European literature, we can see that patriarchy, that is, thesupremacy of the father in a family and the reckoning of descent and inheritance inthe male line, plays a major part in family life. However, the institution of patriarchy isnot just limited to European cultures. In this essay, we will examine the instances ofpatriarchy in 'The ...view middle of the document...

In Japan, the son of a family is expected to take over the responsibilities oftaking care of his family when his father retires, similar to howGregor takes over in his family. The son is also expected to look after his parentsafter they grow old and retire, similar to how Gregor looks after his retired father andmother. If he does not look after his parents, he is thought of as being 'unfilial' andseen as a bad person. In contrast, daughters are expected to go out and find a goodhusband and get married, similar to Grete at the end of 'The Metamorphosis.'Another aspect of patriarchy is the supremacy of the father in the family, thatis, the 'father figure' is the most dominant person in the family. In 'The Metamorphosis,' wesee this in Gregor when he mentions casually that he had 'declared inedible'(1769) a pieceof cheese that Grete brought in for him. Although this seems to be a minor point, but thefact that special mention is given to this fact emphisizes Gregor's dominance in hisfamily, espically since there is no other reason for mentioning this. That he had 'declared'the cheese inedible makes it seem like there is no question of his declaration, no matterwhat the rest of his family thinks.Another...

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