Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is Gregor really the bug?

I thought our discussion today about how Gregor's family seems to be the unit who undergoes a metamorphosis, rather than Gregor himself, was extremely interesting, and I would like to further explore the issue. Gregor exhibits some bug-like qualities prior to the physical transformation. As a human, he is stepped upon by his boss and misunderstood. Further, he has already lost his humanity as both his family and job exploit him for money. Following the transformation, Gregor retains several human characteristics and acts more humanely than his family members. From this perspective, Gregor truly does not experience a metamorphosis. Instead, he simply comes into his own, while his family experiences the metamorphosis as they become aggressive and overly neglectful. It seems as if Kafka intends to represent Gregor's family members are bugs. Perhaps, the father could serve as an evil, violent wasp, the mother a spider, and the sister a bee, who first appears sweet before stinging her prey. What do you all think?


Katherine said...

I think the idea that the family is going through a metamorphosis is also extremely interesting. I have yet to read the III section but I am sure that Gregor will experience or gain something from being a bug. Although I believe at some point Gregor will have a true metamorphosis, I still believe that his family will do the same. The family is definitely changing and they are being forced to do things they have never done before. I think your ideas for what bugs the family could be are interesting and pretty funny, Samantha. But I also have to add that since we can't distinguish what bug Gregor is, then why would we be able to exactly pin point what creature the rest of the family members are? I really do like your suggestions though.

Steven said...

I definitely agree that it is Gregor's family that is undergoing the metamorphosis and not Gregor himself. His family had constantly treated him like a bug by using him for his monetary assets because of his selfless nature. But once he actually becomes a bug, they slowly realize that they have to care and provide for him and themselves because he is no longer able to provide for them financially. But before the transformation, Gregor was already very bug-like. His opinions were hardly heard, for example. The only input he had in the family was his finances. And the family's initial reaction to his change was of little concern to him but rather their fear of financial poverty. As time passes, the family begins to change. A good example of this is the removal of furniture.

Blaine said...

Although it is Gregor who physically undergoes a type of metamophosis, his family internally transforms as the story progresses. In section I, the Samsa family relies entirely on Gregor for their livelyhood. Essentially, the family, like a parasite, feeds off of Gregor. As the story progresses, Gregor's mother, father and sister become independent of Gregor and acquire their own jobs. The father transforms from a lazy, decrepit old man into a hard working bankman who refuses to take off his uniform or even sleep. What perplexes me is that the more human-like the Samsa family becomes the more unhumanely they treat Gregor. In the end, the family appears happy that Gregor has died and relieved that they can finally continue their lives as normal humans.

Chloe said...

I also agree that Gregor's family goes through a metamorphosis. Although Gregor is the one who makes a physical transformation, his "devolution" ends up revealing his selflessness and insignificance to his family. On the other hand, his sister, mother, and father, seem to "feed" off Gregor. The Samsa family lacks traces of humanity, empathy, or love, which makes them seem even more bug like. By the end of Metamorphosis, Gregor's cockroach-identity reveals his humility, while his family's rejection shows how they have completely devolved into "bugs".

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