Saturday, September 5, 2015

Writing's Metaphoric Influence

I abhor Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis for one reason alone: he has unintentionally forced that peculiar story to come to mind unbidden every time I come into contact with a bug. Yet this does not occur with just any bug. I assume the deceased author experiences some sort of horrendous and sadistic joy upon learning that his work receives such a reaction that is reserved primarily for beetles and cockroaches. Though other insects are unpleasant, without fail, these armored beings make my skin crawl.

I shiver when glimpsing their spindled legs scurrying along the floorboards or up the wall to vault onto the ceiling. I flinch, suspecting the worst: that the tiny offender is just looking at a chance to fling itself at me or wait till I'm asleep to come bite at my toes hidden under the covers or God forbid crawl across my unconscious face! But you know, within this almost childlike apprehension, I learned a very deep-rooted connection - one I've always known but came to fully realize due to catching the unwanted visitor and disposing of it while images of that grim story simultaneously materialized in my mind.

Writing has power. Of course words are influential when used properly; they are expressive and can convey a myriad of information or compel humans to action based on the struggles or circumstances confronted and overcome by relatable characters. However, a story carries more weight than one would think. The influential nature of pages or digital screens displaying symbolic print reside within the imagination and are stored within the heart carrying long-ranging implications long after the cover has descended and the book returned to the self.

You are never quite certain how writing will affect you and what aspects will linger after cracking open a book's spine for the first time. I for one wish I had never opened Metamorphosis and yet, because I did, Kafka's words have affected my perspective in ways that surpass analytical literary exploration by unapologetically altering my comprehension of not only life, but the powerful way in which words can pierce the soul and forever change someone's mind.

Image (c) Biasia