Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka
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Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka
"When he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned
by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely,
could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the
rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes." Gregor Samsa has gone
through a metamorphosis. This change has turned Gregor into a "monstrous
vermin". The anxieties, inner terrors, and cynicism, which fill Gregorís
life, are expressed by Kafka throughout the novel, metamorphosis. Franz Kafka
uses these feelings as an element of Expressionism to convey Gregorís
attitudes towards his life and society. Examples depicting this element of
Expressionism used in the novel are Gregorís feelings towards his job, the
effect his job has on his family, and the cruelty that his family displays. The
novel opens with Gregor in his monstrous state, late for work. He infers that
his job as a traveling salesman is very consequential, yet he is growing tired
and frustrated, "The upset of doing business is much worse than the actual
business in the home office, and, besides, Iíve got the torture of traveling,
worrying about changing trains, eating miserable food at all hours, constantly
seeing new faces, no relationships that last or get more intimate. To the devil
with it all!" Gregor has a great amount of fury towards his job, which
eventually led to his anger towards society as a whole. The fact that his office
manager showed up at Gregorís house plays an immense role in creating
trepidation and anxieties in Gregorís mind. Gregor feels strangled by his job
and is too weak to tolerate the pressure. In addition to the pressure created by
his office manager and society, the Samsaís, especially Gregorís father,
take advantage of him. Gregor earns the basic income to support his family.
"But of course he actually could have paid off more of his fatherís debt to
the boss with this extra money, and the clay on which he could have gotten rid
of his job would have been much closer, but now things were undoubtedly better,
the way his father had arranged them." The superficiality of the Samsaís has
put Gregor in a difficult position, which is a component causing Gregorís
metamorphosis. Gregorís family in general, had given him the attitude he has
on life. They took advantage of him to the point where he was the means of the
familyís survival. After Gregorís metamorphosis, when he could no longer
attend work, his family begins to treat him as the vermin he has become. They no
longer consider him as a human being, or a member of their family. Gregor seemed
to be waiting for his family to give up hope in him so he could end his life.
"He thought back on his family with deep emotion and love. His conviction that
he would have to disappear was, if possible, even firmer than his sisterís."
Following this quotation, Gregor Samsa commits suicide. He felt he was no longer
needed, as a salesman, a son and brother, or a member of society. Were the
anxieties, inner terrors, and cynicism of human life all factors expressing the
metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa? Gregor died of a broken heart. His family and
society had a major part in bringing Gregor to his final state. Kafka used
Gregorís metamorphosis into a vermin as an allegory for Gregorís
transformation in which he alienated himself from everything and most
importantly, from himself.
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Fiction, Literature, Absurdist fiction, Modernist literature, Novellas, The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa, Metamorphosis, Gregory
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