What are the differences between Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and "Men of Terry Street" by Douglas Dunn?
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Both of these texts concern individuals that for various reasons society overlooks and ignores. In "The Metamorphosis," for example, the rigours of Gregor's job are something that are made clear to the reader early on in the text:
Day in day out on the road. It's a lot more stressful than the work in teh home office, travelling--worrying about making trains, having bad, irregular meals, meeting new people all the time, but never forming any lasting friendships that mellow into anything intimate.
Gregor paints a vivid and quite disturbing picture of the realities of his job and the way that he has to work so hard for his family and how he suffers as a result. In the same way, in "Men of Terry Street," Dunn paints a picture of nightworkers that, when seen in the cold light of day, presents them as being "too bored" too look at for long. The difference in these texts is that whilst both of them focus on workers who for various reasons have to work long hard hours, in Dunn's poem, at night they are presented as being godlike figures:
This masculine invisibility makes gods of them,
A pantheon of boots and overalls.
Although in daytime the speaker realises they are just men, it is the mystery that surrounds them at night as they work that gives them this allure. There is no such allure with Gregor, and he is portrayed as just a hardworking individual who is at the bottom of the heap in society and somewhat exploited by his family.
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