Breaking Down "The Metamorphosis"

1076 WordsMar 23, 20015 Pages
Breaking Down "The Metamorphosis" Franz Kafka's beginning of his novel, "The Metamorphosis," begins with what would seem a climactic moment: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." From this point on, the reader is determined to make sense of this transformation. However, the reader later comes to realize that Gregor is actually not an insect, but this metamorphosis into a vermin was purely symbolic. It symbolizes the degrading lifestyle that Gregor leads to support his family. This leads the reader to understand Gregor's absurd dilemma. Gregor's insignificant and outcast lifestyle of supporting his family proves that "the universe is irrational, and…show more content…
The father, forgetting that Gregor was once the son he had acted as if he loved, threw an apple into Gregor's back which became embedded. The apple eventually became infected and was the death of Gregor. The apple is a symbol for Gregor's absurd guilt. The apple dates back to Adam and Eve, and the guilt of giving into temptation. Gregor did not give into temptation, but still feels an indescribable guilt because he can no longer bring in funds for his family. The irony of this is that, the family forgot all that Gregor had tried to do for them, and quickly began to loathe Gregor's presence in the household. After Gregor's death, his parents wonder about the eventual marriage of their daughter. They had, within a short time frame completely forgotten about their once beloved son. One other idea that Kafka worked into this story is that "All people are outlaws." This seemingly outrageous statement can be explained through Gregor's absurd dilemma as a vermin. Gregor became the source of income for his family, and yet once he could no longer help the family, they stop loving him. Without his initial function, he became an outlaw of family life. Gregor eventually wanted the family to give up all hope in him, a hope that he wanted to exist but did not. "He thought back on his family with deep emotion and love.
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