Monday, December 31, 2012

Kuper's Adaptation of Kafka's The Metamorphosis by Jessica Wolfe

1. The illustration in The Metamorphosis is pretty cartoony. There’s quite a bit of detail at times, but it still feels stark. There are a lot of rough edges and all the shading makes it feel heavy and gritty. It almost reminds me of the artistic style in Road to Perdition, but The Metamorphosis feels a lot darker and more oppressive. The characters have hollow eyes, which just seems weird to me, and the father’s eyes are crazy looking. There are also times when the narration is a bit hard to follow (p 42), because it winds its way around and across the page instead of staying in the frames. It works with the images depicted, however, as it suggests the same movement that is being illustrated.


 2. Seeing as how this was first written as a novel, I’d say that The Metamorphosis is flexible and is able to be converted into other formats. I’ve never read Kafka’s novel, but I’m more interested in checking it out now because I feel like the comic version is leaving a lot out. I’ve mostly enjoyed the other graphic novels we’ve read in class, and I fully expected to like this one as well, but there was just something about it that kind of repulsed me. Maybe it’s the illustration, I’m not really sure, but I feel like the actual novel would deliver a better impression. I’m not really sure that Peter Kuper’s graphic novel adaptation works, but then I can’t really make that decision since I’m not familiar with the original novel. As far as this ever becoming a film, I just can’t see it, but I suppose it could be possible.

3. The story is told in a third-person narrative, but there are a lot of Gregor’s thoughts that come out as well. It switches between the two narrators pretty often and seamlessly, so there are times when I’m not really sure who is telling the story anymore. This is one reason why I can’t see this story having a film version; I think it would just be really odd to have different voice-overs.

4. I’m not really too sure about a significant frame or series of frames in this book, but I kind of like the series of frames on pages 42-45. Gregor, who has turned into a bug, has felt very confined in a small space until he discovers that he can walk up the walls and also on the ceiling, so now his small space has become rather large. At the same time, his sister, Grete, has decided that Gregor needs more space to move around and together with her mother, the two start moving furniture out of Gregor’s room. It almost seems like the family is accepting what Gregor has become until the mother sees him and faints. This enrages Grete who turns on Gregor instantly and all thoughts of helping him are forgotten. This kind of parodies real life in some ways. It’s easier to help others sometimes when they’re not in sight, but the moment they emerge from the shadows, we are sometimes startled and all thoughts of helping them are overshadowed by the need to take care of ourselves first.

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