Ralph Freedman’s critical essay titled “Kafka’s Obscurity” on Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis delves into the idea that from changes in the protagonist’s physical limitations, familial bonds, and his being “[he] is finally reduced to a mere speck of self-awareness which is ultimately extinguished” (Freedman 131). General questions of “why” and “how” are almost immediately dismissed due to the calm and monotonous tone that Kafka implements throughout the novel. Instead, the reader is encouraged to ponder the consequences of separating one’s mind from their body, in particular, how long can their humanity stay intact when the rest of them is replaced. Freedman reveals the “paradoxical” (Freedman 131) nature of The Metamorphosis in which the demise of one’s life may also be blissful release, especially when the individual in question was arguably inhuman to begin with. The transformation itself is emphasising the character’s current dejection and is highlighted by the transformations mirrored in the family as well.
Betrayal is the one thing in which man and woman are all guilty of putting onto one another. “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka is a book related to a boy, named Gregor, who wakes up from his bed and realizes he is transformed into a nasty vermin. His family is befuddled of this transformation Gregor is going through. As a result, betrayal is a vital theme in “The Metamorphosis” and clearly focuses on the downfall of the main character Gregor Samsa. The Samsa family shows treachery, disloyalty and betrayal towards Gregor by showing minimal love, fear towards his abilities, and as well as unfair treatment of his cause.
He worries about not showing up to his job on time or losing it entirely because he knows that his family depends on it. Ultimately, Gregor is concerned about how his inability to continue as the provider will affect his family. He believes his role as provider is a responsibility that he must carry out in sickness and in health. Indeed, family provides a part of a person’s sense of self, but it is the decision of each individual of how much of an influence family is. In Gregor’s case, it was an overwhelming influence because he was more concerned about what would happen to his family instead of what would happen to him physically and emotionally as a consequence of his transformation into a bug. This overwhelming influence is psychologically unhealthy because it can cause Gregor and other individuals to be so focused on their family’s needs that they forget about their own needs. Likewise, the other extreme is also unhealthy – leaving one’s family on their own with no concern about what could happen to them. It would be more psychologically healthy for a middle ground where individuals are concerned about their family’s well being and attempt to help them only when their family is in the most need. Otherwise, individuals should only wish them well and work on tending to their own needs to be emotionally and physically healthy.
In The Metamorphosis, Kafka establishes, through his religious imagery and gospel-esque episodic narration, the character of Gregor Samsa simultaneously as a kind of inverse Messianic figure and a god-like artist, relating the two and thus turning the conventional concept of the literary hero on its ear. The structure of the novel reflects that of the Gospel of Mark in that it is narrated in individual events, and in this it is something of a Künstlerroman - that is, the real metamorphosis is over the course of the novel, rather than just at the beginning, and that change is a heightened sensitivity to the world in an artistic sense. The motif of change is a rather theological one as well: we see it in a religious sense, in the form of
It is the innate yearning of the human condition to belong. When we come into existence, this desire is satisfied by joining the orderly social structure of a family. Living in a moral, rational universe, leads us to believe that developing such fruitful relationships will grant us the support and resources to achieve success in other facets of life. But in an absurd reality where such beliefs are meaningless, collective pursuits are quite futile. Through an analysis of narrative perspective, character and atmosphere, the closing paragraph of Frank Kafka’s haunting novella The Metamorphosis reveals the superficial nature of the love and bond that holds a family together amidst an existential world.
Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is so strikingly absurd that it has engendered countless essays dissecting every possible rational and irrational aspect of the book. One such essay is entitled "Kafka's Obscurity" by Ralph Freedman in which he delves down into the pages of The Metamorphosis and ferrets out the esoteric aspects of Kafka's writing. Freedman postulates that Gregor Samsa progresses through several transformations: a transformation of spatial relations, a transformation of time, and a transformation of self consciousness, with his conscious mutation having an antithetical effect on the family opposite to that of Gregor. His conjectures are, for the most part, fairly accurate; Gregor devolves in both his spatial awareness and his
The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, tells a unique story about a young man that suddenly turns into a bug; Gregor Samsa. The reason for Gregor turning into a cockroach unexplained. The novel is told as if Gregor; the main character, is perfectly normal. Kafka portrays Gregor as a very selfless man, not thinking of his own health or what would be good for him. Throughout the book there are many Gregor is seemingly cut off from the world, the transformation into a bug almost like a metaphor for Gregor's own life.
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (1915) is a novella about protagonist Gregor, a hard-working traveling salesman transforms into some a vermin overnight and struggles to adjust to his startling change. Kafka characterizes Gregor as a selfless individual whose profound love for his family misleads him about their genuine disposition. As he adjusts to his new change, he undergoes great difficulty to determine his identity and humanity. Gregor has deceived himself into believing that his family will love him despite his repulsive appearance. In The Metamorphosis, Kafka uses characterization and third-person narrative to demonstrate Gregor’s self-deception and self-awareness regarding his family and circumstances to establish the theme of identity.
His fate, it seems, is to provide for his family and there are several instances in which he laments his inability to provide for his mother, father, and dear sister. The narrator states, revealing one of these themes in “The Metamorphosis”, “Gregor’s sole desire was to do his utmost to help the family to forget as soon as possible the catastrophe which had overwhelmed the business and thrown them all into a state of complete despair” (95) and this sense of blind duty compels him to work a meaningless, menial job that has both figuratively and literally turned him into a filthy, scuttling, and helpless insect. While this is true on a more basic level, the root of Gregor’s problem stems from a deep-seated feeling of guilt, an emotion that eventually leads to his demise. By the end of the story, Gregor has completely lost his purpose and for a man that once existed simply as a utilitarian creature (again, like an insect since he lives only to fulfill his duty to the group). At one point, his feelings of uselessness are described as, ““Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who was perhaps nearly dying because of him; he dared not open the door for fear of frightening his sister, who had to stay with her mother, there was nothing he could do but wait; and harassed by self-reproach and worry he began to crawl to and fro” (109) and it is clear that the guilt of being useless is mounting and leading to his resignation in the face of
In The Metamorphosis Gregor Samsa is forced to deal with his transformation from a human being into an insect. After his transformation Gregor is no longer able to do everyday ordinary things. He now has to depend on someone to do these things for him. His younger sister, Grete, makes herself responsible for Gregor. She takes it upon herself to make sure that Gregor is fed and his room is cleaned. This leads to the question; why does she place such a huge responsibility on herself? An optimist like Gregor who only sees the good side of people would say it is because she is a loving and caring person. That her brother’s current condition makes her feel sorry for him and
Metamorphosis is often described as a change of the form or nature of a thing or a person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means. Gregor Samsa led an ordinary and rather mundane life as a traveling salesman who spent the majority of his time on the road with little time to form friendships or relationship with anyone outside of his small family. Once filled with gratitude by providing for his family, he is soon filled with resentment and obligation as his family adjusts to their newfound income. All of which comes to a halt when Gregor wakes up late to work and is horrified by the sight of his new appearance with countless sets of legs and a hard-shell-like exterior. His family soon finds out about his physical
When individuals are rejected by family and society, they tend to feel abandoned and unloved. In Franz Kafka’s, The Metamorphosis, Gregor’s transformation into a “monstrous vermin” (Kafka 1) results in him being psychologically and even physically abused by his family. Rejection from his mother, sister, and father leave Gregor feeling unwanted and feeling as if he is a terrible burden on the family and their well being.
Frank Kafka is considered one of the most influential writers of all time. Helmut Richter would agree with this statement. Richter agreed that Kafka was a very prominent figure in world literature and was amazed by his mechanics and word usage. I feel that his essay is supportive of Kafka’s writing, but also leaves out many important details in its brevity. Richter did not include Kafka’s flaws and tendencies in his essay.
This story "The Metamorphosis" is about Gregor, a workaholic, who is changed into an insect and must then deal with his present reality. The hardest part of being an insect for him was the alienation from his family, which eventually leads to his death. In reading the short story "The Metamorphosis," (1971),one can realize how small the difference is between Magical Realism and Fantastic. This literature written by the Austrian, Franz Kafka, is often debated over.
Metamorphosis In the short story, Metamorphosis, the narrator describes Gregor’s new life as an insect. He then goes on to describe Gregor’s sister, Grete, with a reflection of Gregor’s opinion in the description. Kafka employs a number of stylistic devices including descriptive imagery, metaphors, and symbolism in the passage to describe the situation.