Explorations in Themes of Change in “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

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Scuttling quickly across the floor, the horrifying vermin that is Gregor Samsa tries to grow accustomed to his newfound change. In the novella, “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, the idea of change, in both a physical and metaphorical form, is explored. The protagonist, Gregor Samsa, wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a horrendous bug. The remainder of the novella shows how this change in form impacts both Samsa and his family, and how his transition into a bug was far from just a physical change. This change represents the internal conflicts that Samsa faces as he assumes the role that he has always felt himself to fill within society, as nothing more than a shame and inconvenience for his family. Upon Samsa’s death at the end of the novella, the reader views a glimpse of the elation and relief his family faces upon no longer being burdened by him. Naturally, the entire scenario represents the delusional fantasy that a disillusioned Samsa believes to be true. However, it is incredibly ironic as Samsa is both the economic foundation that his family requires, and also remains the most human character in the novella, even while he is a monstrous bug. Gregor’s bug form serves to represent these various internal conflicts he faces as manifested within a physical form. At the beginning of the novel, Gregor finds himself transformed. He immediately comes to realize the implications of this newfound change. All of a sudden, he is treated with disdain and as
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