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The Character Gregor In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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The Character Gregor In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka essay
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In “The Metamorphosis”, by Franz Kafka, the main character Gregor Samsa is depicted as a broken man who views himself as nothing more than a “monstrous insect” who has the weight of the world on his shoulders (Kafka 1). This inner feeling is felt by most people in some point of their lives and can be described as alienation. Based off J. Ron Stanfield’s theory, Alienation comes in many forms and is mainly associated with “humanity’s unhappiness” (Stanfield 295). Gregor gets thrown into a role as the family provider and slaves away at work with no appreciation from his family. Kafka portrays Gregor as a man who feels alienated by his family and society and therefore slowly starts to detach from his emotions to a feeling of emptiness. As Gregor changes into a beetle, he is no longer seen as a hard-working businessman that contributes to society but as a nuisance.

At the beginning of Metamorphosis, Gregor is known as a hard-working businessman that provides for his family, and his family depends on him to pay the bills and support his family. Gregor’s realizes he’s trapped from paying his family bills as Gregor has a feeling of guilt; his dad was already disregarding his life both in human and insect form. “Gregor is his own vermin; his metamorphosis is “no dream”. “Once he becomes the vermin he expresses no desire to turn back into his original form” (Branch 1601). So, Gregor is affected by this isolation greatly and knows he is alienated from everything, including his own family. Before Gregor was even turned into a beetle, his family treated him as a burden rather than a son who they love. Gregor is treated like he’s a burden as a man and as a beetle and his family act like he doesn’t really exist. His family only wants him around so they can rely on Gregor to pay their bills, Gregor family thought he would be set in that firm forever taking advantage of him knowing Gregor would work to pay off their debt. His family finally pushes him away as soon as he turns into a beetle, and don’t want anything to do with him.

Metamorphosis symbolizes change, and that is represented in how Gregor is transformed into an insect, but how his family treats him hasn’t changed and won’t throughout the whole story. Gregor finally realizes he’s neglected by his family, When Gregor turns into an insect, his feelings of isolation and inferiority that he feels and how his parents make him feel are brought to the light as he is now a giant beetle and is indeed isolated from his family even more then he was before. He realized his family didn’t treat him with compassion and sympathy. “They acted hostile towards him.”(Kafka 19) “Gregor undergoes changes that are easily notable during his transformation, and the changes to some extent are somehow physical as portrayed in one morning when he wakes up and changes his bed into monstrous vermin.” (Gross and Ruth 50)

The most crucial change that Gregor goes through is changing into a bug, but there are other changes Gregor goes through as well. (Gross and Ruth 45) ”The metamorphosis of Gregory is a combination of both physical and non- physical realities as interpreted based on the tangible evidence and acceptance of the interpretations gives both the physical and the non – physical readings some clarity in terms of perspective throughout the whole set.” (Gross and Ruth 50) These different physical and non – physical realities help the reader to understand the metamorphosis more clearly. Although Gregor changes into a bug, and that is the most notable change, “he also changes by realizing that his sister is repulsed by him as a beetle, and so instead of wanting to be around her, he hides from her” (Kafka . He even decided one day that he was going to shield her from seeing him and so he carried a sheet on his back to the couch to hide under that took a day and a half to construct.(Kafka 29) This shows how much Gregor honestly doesn’t want to be around his sister disappoint her. He changes in this way because before, he wanted to be around his family and his sister before and when he’s transformed into a beetle that all changes.

Even though Gregor has changed by wanting to hide from his family and sister, he still longs for human interaction. When Gregor’s family would talk to each other, “he would run and press his body against the wall”(Kafka 41), and his actions of how he reacted when he heard people talking shows that he desperately missed social interaction and still retains humanity by desiring that. How Gregor is seen by his parents is very sad because not only is his sister afraid of him and ignores him, his parents do as well. In fact, his parents act even more annoyed with him than they did when he was a man. Gregor’s dad also attempts to kill him by throwing an apple at him and dislodging it into his back.(Kafka 71) His parents and sister treat him with hostility before he was a bug, and after and as a bug, they treat him with absolute disgust and hatred. Even when Gregor first went through his transformation, the only thing his parents cared about was how to fix it and not to comfort him and make him feel better about turning into a giant bug. “They also never showed how grateful they were to Gregor as if they were never aware of it. “ (Assemism 4) The reality of the situation with his parents is that they should have an unconditional undying love for their son, which they don’t and never have in the first place.

Gregor, near the end, finally realizes how his parents really feel about him, and he knows they don’t care about him and only want him to take care of them so they can sit around and do nothing. He comes to the realization that his father tried to kill him, and they saw him as vermin and just wanted him to be gone if he’s a bug, but if he’s a man that can support them, then they would want him around to use him. Gregor eventually died due to starvation, seclusion, and an infection in his back from the apple his father threw. (Kafka 71) It took Gregor’s family for him dying to realize that no one is going to go work and support them while they sit around and do nothing all day.

Gregor was shut out by his family before and after his transformation and was a nuisance to them and was mostly shut out from the world after his transformation. Gregor turning into a bug caused his family to alienate him and lock him away in his room where he was shut out from everything, including human interaction. Gregor’s transformation accelerated the alienation that he already had experienced from his parents before and when he turned into a bug that sealed his fate with his parents because his alienation ultimately led to his death.

The Character Gregor In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka essay

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The Character Gregor In The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. (2020, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-metamorphosis-by-franz-kafka-book-review/

FAQ

How does Gregor personality change throughout The Metamorphosis?
Although at first Gregor is psychologically unaltered by his transformation, his personality changes over the course of the story in accordance with his new physical urges and desires . These changes primarily come about as he adapts to his new body and learns what it finds comfortable.
How is Gregor Samsa described?
conventional, hard-working, and dutiful . As a human, Gregor was his family's main bread-winner, a role he wasn't particularly happy with but which he nonetheless continued to perform. After years of hating his job, Gregor seems to have finally found a way out: involuntarily changing into an insect.
the metamorphosis why is gregor a bug?
Gregor is the main character of the story. He works as a traveling salesman in order to provide money for his sister and parents. He wakes up one morning finding himself transformed into an insect . After the metamorphosis, Gregor becomes unable to work and is confined to his room for most of the remainder of the story.
where does gregor go that makes him feel at ease?
As the story continues, Gregor's insect body has an increasing influence on his psychology. He finds that he is at ease hiding in the dark under the sofa in his room , like a bug would, even though his body won't fit comfortably. He also discovers that he enjoys crawling on the walls and ceiling.
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