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Isolation leads to Metamorphosis…

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–A scene from “Metamorphosis,” a stage adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel. 

Franz Kafka wrote such odd and affecting stories that he left behind his own adjective: Many use the word “Kafkaesque” to describe strange and nightmarish situations embedded in everyday life.

It’s easy to assume that these stories have nothing to do with the world we live in today. And yet, his themes and ideas are so prevalent that choosing his classic 1915 novella “The Metamorphosis” is a hard challenge of narrowing down the fact that Social Isolation is killing us…

Literally killing us or changing us to such a degree that we are not recognizable from who we were before this pandemic, because this is what it takes to understand the haunting loneliness and disconnection of social isolation in the context of this pandemic.

And still modern life, is the cause and affect because as we explore how much our connections to others affect our sense of being, identity, belonging, and where our loneliness and humanity collide — the greater the possibility for growth and metamorphosis in our future…

Kafka, was a man who wrote in a decidedly different era — and yet his cause resonates through the centuries, because his story features disastrously affected human beings, who push the envelope on what makes them human and where they fail to fit in as in “The Metamorphosis,” where the traveling salesman Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to find that he has been transformed into a hideous bug…

Unable to communicate, Gregor finds his sense of self, his identity, his familiar relationships, his work relationships, his all in a deeply alienating crisis. Through his story, Kafka forces us to consider how much we define our humanity by the work we do and the company we keep, whether isolated at home, whether in the ICU wards of hospitals, or simply being alone in this life’s path..

This is how a classic story like “The Metamorphosis” can find deep resonance with all of us as we face our own metamorphosis during this Covid isolation, as this open-ended exploration of human nature helps us become aware, thoughtful and far less connected adults — perhaps better able to withstand the social isolation so hauntingly experienced by most all of us during this pandemic.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

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