The Life Of Gregor Samsa

1383 Words6 Pages
Lauren Johnson
Ariel McCarter
English 2B
3 April 2017
The Life of Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis vs. Joseph Merrick, “Elephant Man”
One person who lived a life that greatly resembled Gregor is Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man.” Merrick was afflicted with a genetic disease, possibly Proteus syndrome (James 554), that deformed him to the point that his skin resembled an elephant. There were bony growths on his face and body. From difficulty moving around to challenges with communications, there are many similarities between the two men. However, there are also major differences between them. One of the principal differences is their ability to keep their humanity and enjoy their lives. Their afflictions came on them at different times as
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Gregor 's family found his attempts to talk annoying and irritating. An inability to communicate easily is a huge blow for someone trying to retain some humanity.
One great difference between the two men is that Merrick was able to communicate if he had something to write on, whereas Gregor was not able to communicate well at all. Merrick wrote letters to people who he had met and notes to the doctors and staff at the hospital where he spent most of his adult life (Treves 1). Gregor tried to communicate by pushing things around, like his food, and separating the stuff he wanted from what he didn’t, so his sister would know what to bring him. His sister seemed to understand this system of communications as she adjusted his food accordingly, this made it more difficult for him when she stopped picking up on his hints and did the minimum possible to keep him alive. He also pushed things around his room and hid when people were coming in; this showed that he understood that they didn’t want to see him. Another major difference between the two men was that Gregor always had a place to live. Merrick’s father and step-mother kicked him out of the house when he was 15. After that, he lived with an uncle for a while, but when the uncle’s family got too large to support another person he went to a workhouse (Howell & Ford 51). Gregor always had a place to live, it was the apartment he had rented for his
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