Paper Example: The Significance of an Ending in a Text

Published: 2024-01-15
Paper Example: The Significance of an Ending in a Text
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature Family Society
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1722 words
15 min read


The ending is an integral part of any literature text. It is where the author resolves the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist. The author sets the action in the first section, develops it in the second part, and answers the ending’s dramatic questions. The protagonist and other main characters in the story complete the arc in the end. The ending gives the text its meaning. In this paper, the writer will analyze the usage, significance, and reflection of the end section’s essence in Naguib Mahfouz’s Zabaalawi, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and Tagore’s Punishment.

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Kafka has used the ending in the short story Metamorphosis to depict death’s natural culmination, life changes, and the continuity of life. The story’s section reveals the initiative that the protagonist, Gregor Samsa’s family, starts adapting to the changes associated with his death. The author has exemplified the kitchen and trolley scenes’ changes where the family members depict the willingness to do things independently. Kafka (2013) has further used the ending to illustrate the family’s rejuvenation upon realizing that they have to take responsibility for their upkeep.

Gregor’s family used to rely on him, and in the end, the family became independent. Initially, the family had a minor role in family responsibilities where Gregor could provide them with financial assistance. Kafka (2013, p. 1197) reveals that Gregor’s family “had formed the conviction that Gregor was set for life in his firm,” indicating the preoccupation with their current troubles while losing focus on potential future problems. In the end, Gregor’s family writes to their employers, which depicts their independence and reliance preferences. They have decided to search for their means of income generation. They no longer rely on Gregor’s employees or the firm. Mr. Samsa depicts freedom when he decides to fire their cleaning lady in the kitchen scene (Kafka 2013, p. 1197). The action reveals that he can take responsibility for his family. Mrs. Samsa and Grete also exemplify independence and commitment when they do not question Mr. Samsa’s decision to fire the cleaning lady. Therefore, the ending section reveals the freedom in Gregor’s family after his demise.

Kafka has used the ending section to depict the modifications in Gregor’s family. The family used to stay indoors during their mourning for the death of Gregor. Eventually, the family decides to leave their house, which Kafka (2013) reveals is “something they had not done in months” (1235). The action shows the change to independence. The ending further reveals change when the family decides to move to a “smaller and cheaper apartment” (Kafka 2013, p. 1235). The family used to rely on Gregor for their financial upkeep, but they had to modify their expenses upon his death. The ending has further revealed physical and mental modification in Grete. During the mourning period, Grete stays with her family indoors, and the duration gives her time to develop mentally. When they decide to leave their house, Grete “was the first to get up and stretch her nubile body” (Kafka 2013, p. 1235). The action reveals Grete’s change, where she has decided to embrace the new life in their family. Therefore, the ending section shows Samsa’s family’s changes and the parents’ good intentions for the future.

The ending reflects the continuity of life that Kafka has constructed in the previous sections of the novel, Metamorphosis. In the earlier sections of the book, the author has revealed Samsa’s family members as dependent on Gregor for economic and social upkeep. Gregor supports his family and lays plans for future maintenance. Kafka takes an unexpected twist when Gregor dies, and his family has to mourn and adapt to life. The family eventually decides to take on their responsibilities filling in the gap that Gregor’s death left in the novel’s ending. After Gregor’s death, the family could mourn him, but they had to start “living” after some time. They had to begin shouldering the responsibilities that the deceased held for their lives to continue coherently. Therefore, the ending reflects the continuity of life and death’s culmination in Mr. Samsa’s family.

Zabaalawi Mahfouz has used Zabaalawi’s ending to exemplify human beings’ efforts in their continuous search for meaning and the sick humanity. The end further reveals the social reflection on the vacillations between modernity and traditions in Egyptian society. The protagonist, the story’s narrator, has an identity crisis that Mahfouz shows through his efforts to find the cure outside himself. Mahfouz has used the section to depict that life does not provide all people with immediate responses. Mahfouz has used the ending to illustrate the essence of maintaining patience and hope even though the protagonist had failed to find Zabaalawi in his compulsive condition where Mahfouz (2016) finishes the story with the narrator admitting that “yes, I have to find Zabaalawi” (1606). The narrator has to keep searching for Zabaalawi.

In the ending of Zabaalawi, Mahfouz has revealed the importance of maintaining hope and being persistent. The story depicts human existence as an ongoing tragedy. The narrator has a pathological complication and keeps moving from one place to another, searching for its cure. In the final parts of the short story, the narrator had “content myself with having made certain of the existence of Zabaalawi” (Mahfouz 1605). Despite having his illness, the narrator kept clinging to his faith that he could find Zaabalawi, who could heal him if “a meeting took place between us” (Mahfouz 1605). Mahfouz has also depicted the persistence of the narrator by his continuous fight of despair. The narrator has persistent problems that disturb him, and in the end, Mahfouz reveals that the protagonist cannot give up because when the issues force themselves on him, he has to think about Zabaalawi. The ending has also shown that people should cling to their beliefs and struggle against modern life challenges. The narrator believes that Zabaalawi exists and that he is the answer to all his problems. The protagonist believes that when he meets Zabaalawi, he will cure him of his illness. Although he does not meet Zabaalawi in all his searches, he keeps to his beliefs. Therefore, the ending depicts the significance of having hope despite the continuous challenges humanity faces when searching for answers to problems.

Mahfouz has used the ending to reveal the efforts of the protagonist towards establishing the meaning of life. The narrator has the sole purpose of finding Zabaalawi, which is a healing value. However, sacred values in Egypt have weakened. Rationality and materialism are replacing religion. The Sheikhs engage themselves in the commercial world where the Sheikh failed to meet the narrator because he had left the country and could not return “until he had sold the cotton crop” (Mahfouz, 2016, p. 1605). Mahfouz denotes the variations in the meaning of life based on the values that govern an individual. Religious values implicate an individual in observing them, whereas modernity has focused on materialism. Therefore, the ending has revealed the potential challenges individuals could face in finding meaning in their lives.

The ending reflects human life as a problematic adventure that requires continuous perseverance, hope, and holding onto one’s beliefs. The narrator keeps moving from one place to another, searching for Zabaalawi. The narrator believes that he will get cured and relieve all his challenges. The search becomes very difficult because Zabaalwai does not have a permanent residence. The protagonist experiences strange and terrifying adventures in his quest but gets convinced that Zabaalawi exists at the story’s end. The realization prompts him to keep his hope and keep searching. Thus, the ending depicts the thriving of hope and persistence in an individual’s endeavors that propel the protagonist in the first parts of the story.


Tagore and Radice (2011) used the ending of their short story, Punishment, to depict women’s oppression in Indian society and how women can empower themselves and fight for their independence. Chandara is convicted falsely for killing Radha by stabbing though it was Dukhiram who killed his wife. Chidam falsely accuses his wife of the murder because he could replace his wife with another woman, “but if my brother is hanged, how can I replace him?” (Tagore & Radice, 2011, p. 966). Even though Chadam and Dukhiram confessed to killing Radha, the judge ruled against their wishes because he believed it was Chandara who killed Radha.

The authors have used the ending to depict the oppression of women in Indian society. Chandra could not defend herself against the false accusations made by her husband that she had killed Radha. Chandara has to confess to a crime she never did even though she knows that the punishment is “death by hanging” (Tagore & Radice, 2011, p. 969). The judge also oppresses women in the short story where he sees Chandara as the only legitimate killer in the case. The judge cross-examines the witness statements by Chidam and Dukhiram and concludes that it is an attempt by the two brothers to “save the young wife from the shame of the noose” (Tagore & Radice, 2011, p. 969). Therefore, the court disregards the brothers’ confessions as fabrications to save Chandara and opts to hang her even though she is innocent.

The ending reflects that the oppression of women in Indian society is far beyond domestic settings. Women are subjects of oppression from their husbands and fathers, where men dictate what they should do. Tagore also brings out women as defiant with Radha’s continuous nagging behavior. Women also lack a voice in society and Chandara cannot deny the false accusations on her head. Women are also subjected to domestic duties where they do house chores, whereas men go searching in the fields for their families. The end part clematises the oppression when the judge finds Chandara guilty even though she never committed the crime.


Kafka, F. (2013). The Metamorphosis. Modern Library Classics.

Mahfouz, N. (2016). The Time and The Place: And Other Stories. Anchor.

Tagore, R. & Radice, W. (2011). Punishment. ProQuest. LLC.

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