Essay about Significance of the abject in Metamorphosis

Decent Essays
Discuss the significance of the abject in Metamorphosis.
Metamorphosis is a remarkable novel that has spanned numerous themes; from alienation to the absurdity of life. And one of the major themes is that of the abject. The abject, by definition, describes something brought low in position or condition, lacking in courage, or simply rejected. In short, the abject is a recurring theme throughout Metamorphosis – both literally; in the form of Gregor’s grotesque physical form, and metaphorically; in the way Gregor reacts to and is treated by his family. Thus the significance of the abject on Gregor and his family will be the basis of analysis in this essay.
Firstly, the physical sense of the abject is presented almost immediately in
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The contrast between his position in life before and after the transformation was almost as marked as the transformation itself. In this way, the physical abject is not only a cause of the social abject, but also a symbol of it as well.
Furthermore, Gregor’s descent into social and physical abjection then forces his family to change radically in order to support themselves. In the beginning, Gregor starts off as the provider for his family. He hates his job, but he still goes above and beyond the call of duty to give his family a more comfortable life, even indulging the expensive endeavour of his sisters’ dream of studying the violin. However, after the metamorphosis, he is thrust into the role of a dependant – forcing his family to take responsibility and support themselves. His sister steps up to the plate in the beginning, giving him a selection of foodstuffs to find what he likes and even cleaning up after him. His parents are still in denial at this point, so much so that they refuse to see him at all. But as time goes by, his family begins to accept the situation and even try to help Grete out. His father produces some money from his previous failed business venture and his mother and sister try to make life more comfortable for Gregor. Grete in particular changes the most noticeably; Gregor himself notes at the beginning that her life up till that point had been “enviable”, consisting of “wearing nice
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