Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gregor and I

I didn't have trouble sympathizing with Gregor; I definitely felt bad for the bug/man. However, I don't think we have many similarities, and I feel like people usually sympathize with those they can relate to. I would never work in such a untrusting environment. I enjoy having freedom. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like growing up or moving to a different country where you're not free. A country like North Korea, Vietnam, or China, for example, where the government restricts the people by doing everything from monitoring the internet to killing those who betray or speak out against them. It's hard to imagine living a life like that, constantly in fear. I think Gregor was in fear like those in North Korea, Vietnam, and China today. He was fearful of his boss, his family, and to some extent himself. I think if he would have stood up for himself and showed a little more confidence, he wouldn't have turned into a bug. Instead, he let fear take over his life.

5 comments:

Megan Hoolahan said...

I also didn't have much trouble sympathizing with Gregor. I definitely don't see myself as sharing many similarities with Gregor. Basically I can sympathize with Gregor but I can't empathize with him, since I do not share many similar experiences with him or to the extent to which he has. Sure all of us have felt used before, but I've never felt used to the point where I ache to rebel but can't find the nerve to do so. I am too selfish. I could never selflessly support three people on my own who never contribute or thank me. If I'm going to selflessly devote my time to someone it would be for someone who actually can't support them self, not just someone who is too lazy to get off the couch. I think this is why I sympathize with Gregor. He can't find the courage to rebel and part of him doesn't want to rebel. Part of him enjoys supporting his family, while another part of him (the cockroach part) contradicts those emotion and yearns to break free from his responsibilities and commitments.

Brooke M. Hathaway said...

I absolutely sympathize with Gregory, especially after dealing with Underground Man. I can certainly see how it could be hard to empathize with Gregor though, considering he lets his family and boss take advantage of him. However, I think it definitely goes further than this. I think "Kafka's Metamorphosis: Rebellion and Punishment," which I believe was Megan and Ian's article, does a great job of taking Gregor's mindset a step further. My understanding of the article is that Gregor subconsciously wanted to rebel against his family and job, and the transformation is what allowed him to do so. Looking at the situation from this standpoint, it's as if Gregor never consciously recognized his desire to rebel. Sokel also points out how Gregor never wonders why he has been transformed into a bug possibly because he does not want to recognize his own subconscious desires.

It's interesting to explore why exactly Gregor refused to recognize his subconscious desires. I believe Sokel also suggested that Gregor wanted to rebel without being responsible for it, hence the need for his subconscious. I think it's also possible that Gregor simply didn't see the need for taking into account his own desires, perhaps because he was just that selfless or perhaps he didn't have much of an alternative? Was he just supposed to drop his family and job? Maybe he saw no honorable way of dealing with the situation? In short, I think it's important to take into account Gregor's reasoning without simply labeling him as a doormat.

Kincy GIbson said...

I honestly can't sympathize with Gregor that much. Gregor feels sorry for himself, when he has the power and capabilities to "better" himself. Gregor chooses to support his family who is awful to him; therefore, I see his unhappiness as self inflicted. Yes, his motives are selfless, but they also cause him to pity himself. In this scenario, if Gregor had quit his job, liberating himself, he also could have helped his family. They would have had to get jobs themselves, causing the family to experience their "rebirth" with out the traumatic experience of Gregor turning into a cockroach. I think if Gregor had stood up for himself, it would have been best for him and his family (since we now know that the dad was holding money on the side.)

Amy Clement said...

As compared to the Underground Man, Gregor is much more sympathetic. He spent his whole life doing for others before he ever helped himself. The Underground Man used his own intellect and consciousness as an excuse for judging others and treating them like villains to make himself feel better about his miserable life. Gregor just never could break through his own insecurities to escape his bubble of isolation but would do anything to make his family happy.

Joseph D'Amico said...

I liked Gregor, but I couldn't really sympathize with him. I don't think I'm a very aggressive person, but Gregor's obsequious behavior was almost unbearable. For instance, that scene where he begged the chief clerk to forgive him for being sick for the first time in five years was simply pitiful. I did feel bad for Gregor, but he could have solved a lot of his problems if he just stood up for himself.