What does this quote mean?  "If the literature we are reading does not wake us, why then do we read it? A literary work must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us." - Franz Kafka

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Kafka uses a metaphor, a comparison of two unalike things where one thing is said to be another, to compare a literary text to an ice axe that is capable of breaking up the frozen landscape of our emotions. Our feelings can be paralyzed, or frozen, so to speak, by our experiences or circumstances in life, and good literature ought to have the ability to break through what has become stuck inside. In Kafka's The Metamorphosis , the main character, Gregor's, humanity and feelings of worth have been all but destroyed by his work and the degrading treatment he receives there, as well as by the fact...

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