Gregor Samsa Transforms into a Hideous Creature , Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Decent Essays
Lying on an unfamiliar back, Gregor Samsa lifts his black beady head and looks down at his vaulted brown belly which is now covered by arch-shaped ribs. Readers are taken aback when Gregor Samsa wakes to finds himself transformed into a “monstrous vermin”; and one cannot help but instinctively cringe in disgust at the idea of transforming into a creature as repulsive as a giant insect. In Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Kafka’s choice of a vermin as an agent for Gregor’s transformation is not random. The significance of the bug is extensive as this symbol not only represents the meaninglessness and emptiness of Gregor’s life as a man, but also reflects the impersonal and dehumanizing treatment of Gregor by his family and society alike. Our connotations and associated sentiments as a society with vermin, as we understand them as unwanted pests and somewhat repulsive creatures, allows Kafka to express the pointless and empty existence of the modern man. When Gregor awakes, transformed, his disgust with himself as a bug parallels the disgust he holds with his pitiful human life. Kafka’s diction and tone draws this parallel as he describes Gregor’s “many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes” (1). It is confirmed that Gregor is a pathetic character when he reflects upon his army days, and it becomes understood that he considers those years, ironically, to be his glory days. He looks at a photograph of himself
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