Paul Kim Professor Teresa McCarty AP Language 27 October 2015 The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka led a life filled with struggles, particularly evident in his relationship with his father. His experiences and feelings in life are manifested throughout his writings, as the themes in his life dominate the themes of his works, especially so in his novella, The Metamorphosis. Through his extended metaphor of Samsa as a vermin, Kafka illustrates the family dynamic present throughout his life, that of his family, and particularly his father, devaluing and isolating him.
Prior to his transformation, Gregor’s sense of identity relied on his family’s necessities. Once his father lost his sheer unsuccessful business, “Gregor’s only concern had been to devote everything he had in order to allow his family to forget as quickly as possible the business misfortune which had brought them all into a state of complete hopelessness” (Kafka 35). After this tragic monetary loss, Gregor decides to step in and become a traveling salesman in order to provide for his family financially. Gregor’s simple action to seek and accept his new role as the family’s breadwinner reflects his humble personality. Gregor’s humility can also be seen during the realization stage of his transformation into a giant insect when his only worry at the time is how he will manage to catch the five o’clock train to his job (Kafka 5). However, once his family realizes he has transformed into a hideous bug, they no longer want anything to do with him. Instead, they dehumanize Gregor’s identity by referring to him as “[T]his animal plagues us. It drives away the lodgers, will obviously take over the entire apartment, and leave us to spend the night in the alley” (Kafka 69). By doing so, Gregor begins to lose the identity he had prior to his metamorphosis that relied solely to his family. Similarly, this is a theme that many high school students can relate to. As teenage students are metamorphosing into young adults, they agonize the thought of losing their
Kafka tries to portray that a little Gregor Samsa exists in everyone. People get isolated by themselves.
The novella, "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka, begins with the main character, Gregor Samsa, awaking from a bad dream to find himself "transformed into a monstrous verminous bug" (Kafka 255). The transformation is not questioned by Gregor nor his family, leaving them to try to adjust to this transformation without any attempt to reverse it or cure it. The significance of the drastic change that the protagonist has to face has been analyzed in various ways for its symbolic meaning. Using various critical analyses and interpreting the written work, it is ratiocinated that Franz Kafka’s "The Metamorphosis", is a fictional depiction of Kafka’s repressed internal sentiments he has as an alienated member of his family due to factors such as, an estranged relationship with his father, pressure to pursue a life he did not enjoy, and his inability to express his true feelings.
A metamorphosis can be described as a change in structure, form, or appearance, or as a change in form from one stage to the next in an organism’s life. In Franz Kafka’s novella, “The Metamorphosis”, change is a major theme. The theme of change is significant as the main character,
At the sight of Gregor, Grete succums to her fear and shuts the door after seeing him, but immediately regrets the decision and feels guilty for seeing her brother hideous creature, if only for an instant. Insect or not, Gregor is still Grete’s brother and she believes that the right thing to do is to keep on loving him and taking care of him, emphasizing her role as the superego.
Turning the character into a giant, monstrous insect helps the author demonstrate the situation in which a person becomes absolutely vulnerable, helpless and pathetic. At that very moment of Gregor’s new form the attitude of the family becomes absolutely clear and transparent: everyone feels ashamed and diverted from the personality of Gregor. Betrayal of his mother and his sister is nowhere near what Gregor would have ever imagined. His relationship with his father was rocky. He never expected the mishap to become so realistic and his lift to be so heartbreaking. So the main
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is a masterfully written novella about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes his life to his family and work, for nothing in return. Only when he is transformed into a helpless beetle does he begin to develop a self-identity and understand the relationships around him. The underlying theme of The Metamorphosis is an existential one that says that any given choice will govern the later course of a person’s life and that a person has ultimate will over making choices. In this case, Gregor’s choices of his part in society cause him to have a lack of identity that has made him to be numb to everything around him.
On the surface, “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka is an evocative story of a man transformed into a “monstrous vermin”. It seems to focus on the dark transformation of the story’s protagonist, Gregor, but there is an equal and opposing transformation that happens within Gregor’s family. Although Gregor has physically
Franz Kafka’s twentieth-century classic, The Metamorphosis, shows the changes of the Samsa family after their son, Gregor, turns into a vile insect. Even though Gregor has turned into the most disgusting of creatures, this “metamorphosis” is ironic compared to the transformation that his family endures. While Gregor still sustains his humanity, the lack of any compassion and mercy from his family, is what makes them the disgusting creatures rather than Gregor. The changes of Gregor’s father, mother, and sister prove that the theme of metamorphosis is not exclusively present within Gregor.
The main character of Kafka’s book, The Metamorphosis, is a normal, everyday salesman named Gregor Samsa who happens to wake up one day only to find that he had suddenly become a hideous insect overnight. Throughout the book, Gregor experiences neglect, disgust, and eventually complete isolation
Franz Kafka’s, The Metamorphosis, is a novella about Gregor Samsa, a man who devotes everything to fulfilling the needs of his family. Kafka’s existentialist perspective on the meaning of life is illustrated through the use of the protagonist of Gregor Samsa. Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with finding self and
Turning the character into a giant, monstrous insect helps the author demonstrate the situation in which a person becomes absolutely vulnerable, helpless and pathetic. At that very moment the attitude of the family becomes absolutely clear and transparent: everyone feels ashamed and diverted from the personality of Gregor. Betrayal from his mother and his sister is nowhere near what Gregor would have ever imagined. His relationship with his father was rocky. He never expected this to become so realistic and heartbreaking. So the main question arising in the mind of the reader is: what if sometimes like
It is not until Gregor’s mother faints at the sight of him that Gregor feels like a monster, and she further dehumanizes Gregor by removing furniture from his room (Kafka, 1915). A person is not a person if they have no purpose. The pressure from Gregor’s job, and the provision from his family consume his conscience and nothing is left for him other than what his family has intended him to be. This can be related to Lacan’s theory of the Imaginary; this idea is associated with the ego (Freud’s notion of an individual which serves as a mediator) (Falasiri 2016). The imaginary related to Kafka’s story is the image of the insect, between what is real what is unreal, Gregor defines himself as a subject rather than a human being based on other’s interpretations of his actions. Therefore, the pressure to be productive as a human, actually dehumanizes Gregor physically and mentally, as his identity has morphed him into something worthless than a human. And overall, although Gregor is an insect, he is not anxious by his appearance, but how others view
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (1915) is a novella about protagonist Gregor, a hard-working traveling salesman transforms into some a vermin overnight and struggles to adjust to his startling change. Kafka characterizes Gregor as a selfless individual whose profound love for his family misleads him about their genuine disposition. As he adjusts to his new change, he undergoes great difficulty to determine his identity and humanity. Gregor has deceived himself into believing that his family will love him despite his repulsive appearance. In The Metamorphosis, Kafka uses characterization and third-person narrative to demonstrate Gregor’s self-deception and self-awareness regarding his family and circumstances to establish the theme of identity.