Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kafka in Three Panels

While not anywhere near entirely accurate, this cartoon representation of Kafka's Metamorphosis makes me happy.
However, I think the cartoonist missed a key part of Kafka's point (if there is one). Gregor doesn't react to his transformation with horror or even distaste. He instead only worries about being late for work that day. How do you think the meaning or plot of The Metamorphosis would change if Gregor panicked?

3 comments:

Isabel Celata said...

I think that the entire point of Metamorphosis would be changed if Gregor panicked and wasn't worried about work. The whole point of the novella is that Gregor is a bug long before he literally becomes a bug. Part of this is shown through what you know about his work life - he's seen as insignificant and just another "worker bee". All he worries about is work because that's all he is programmed to care about.

Iris Mire said...

I agree Izzy. Metamorphosis becomes much less absurd and much more pointlessly depressing if you remove Gregor's nonchalance from the equation and replace it with bug-induced panic.

Tiffany Tavassoli said...

I also agree that the fact that Gregor doesn't respond in such a disturbed and frightened way reveals that he has other priorities that he values more than his own well being. However, I do think that if Gregor would have panicked in Metamorphosis, it wouldn't have necessarily defeated the whole entire point of the work. Gregor could have panicked and become horrified at the fact the him turning into a bug would prevent him from actually going to work. While I was reading Metamorphosis, especially in Part I and II, t struck me how Gregor never comes to his senses that he is incapable of working because he is a beetle. I think it can be argued the other way too, for Gregor is so focused on work that he completely disregards his well being and state to meet his family's needs and wants.