Cervantes Don Quixote
Don Quixote by Cervantes is one of the most popular literary works in the world. This novel marks the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The first part of the book shows the decay of the medieval norms and traditions, which Don Quixote attempts to revive. The first part of the book focuses on his adventures and helps the reader to reconstruct the illusion Don Quixote had being inspired by adventures of knights in the past. He attempts to follow the lead of noble knights from the past but their principles and norms are out-of-date. Nevertheless, the illusion inspires Don Quixote and he attempts to commit great deeds.
However, the second part of the book and the prologue help to understand the full extent to which Don Quixote looks absurd because the principles that drive him through the life are absolutely irrelevant to the real life. They make the sense of his life and the author attempts to show that, even though the principles and norms of the past have gone, they are still good and worth living and fighting for, whereas being disillusioned, Don Quixote loses the point of life and he comes to the point when his life is not worth living.
Confessions by Rousseau is the autobiographic work, which the author uses to convey to readers the story of his life to the age of 53. The author focuses on personal, if not to say intimate details. In this regard, this work was new in terms of the extent to which Confessions were personal. On the other hand, the author attempted to show with his work his experience and this work may be viewed as didactic in a way. Rousseau shows his life and probably believes that his experience will be useful for other people.
Queen of Spades
Queen of Spades by Pushkin is a remarkable work, which focuses on the theme of pursuing wealth at cost of nothing. Gambling is one of the vices, which Pushkin condemns with his work. To put it more precisely, he shows the main character, who is led by gambling to the terrible crime. In pursuit of wealth, Herman, the main character of the short story, frightens an old woman to death and eventually he runs mad, when he carries on gambling and loses by mistake. In such a way, the author shows that easy money the main character wanted to earn brings nothing but devastation in his life and life of other people.
Metamorphosis by F. Kafka focuses on the transformation of the main character and his evolution from a man to an insect. At the same time, the author attempts to draw the attention of the audience to indifference, utilitarianism and selfishness of people. To put it more precisely, the main character of Metamorphosis is ready to sacrifice anything for the sake of his family but as soon as he starts to transform into an insect and becomes useless for his family, his family members forget about him. In such a way, the author attempts to show that the society is profit driven and oriented on the consumption. People cannot give something for nothing. They expect to gain some benefits and the life of other people is absolutely insignificant for them. They are selfish and absolutely dehumanized. In such a situation, an individual willing to help others for nothing has no place in the society and is doomed to transform into an insect like the main character does. This metamorphosis reveals the place of good people ready to help others in the society.
The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces- 5th Fifth Continental Edition.