Saturday, January 21, 2017

Symbolic rooms

The orientation of Gregor's room is central to the plot of Kafka's novella. His room has three different doors in it that lead to different areas that each family member resides in. He likes to always keep every door locked. Therefore, he is seen as the central figure in his family, and he also feels pressure from his family. This pressures continues to the point that he is overwhelmed from all sides, both literally and symbolically. His sister always listens in on his room, and both his mother and his father give him no privacy. Gregor seems to enjoy this attention because he likes to support his family, but he also resents both the situation he is in and his job. Therefore, he limits this attention by locking his doors. After his metamorphosis, he loses his role as chief money maker for his family, which also coincides with the unlocking of all of his doors. At this point, he has lost the attention that he had previously won through working so hard, so he opens up his room only to find that his family barely cares about him anymore. Therefore, Gregor's room had a more positive connotation at the beginning of the novella, but certainly takes on a directly negative view at the end.

5 comments:

Julia Scofield said...

This is especially true as his room begins to overflow with junk. At the beginning, his room was his own, with his own belongings which he cherished. This could symbolize how he enjoyed having a role as a provider for his family. As they no longer need him, the room begins to fill up with furniture and other clutter that his family wants to get rid of or needs to be stored. This could symbolize how he is not being weighed down by his families need to get rid of him. His mind is emotionally cluttered by the feeling of being a burden on his family.

Savannah Watermeier said...

It is also important to note that he keeps Gregor's doors locked to further isolate himself. His room was originally filled with his own things because he wanted to be by himself. I also have a different interpretation of Julia's comment. I think his family fills his room up with unwanted furniture to reveal that they also don't care about him. As they no longer need him, they no longer care about him.

Rickeia Coleman said...

I agree that Gregor's room placement is supposed to symbolize him as the central figure in the household. However, after the metamorphosis he loses this status. The doors which acted as gateways for him to access his family become overwhelming. His mom dad and sister all yell at Gregor through the individual doors and it is a burden to Gregor. Gregor used to take his dad's place at the head of the house but we see the dad seemingly getting younger and healthier as he takes Gregor's place. Gregor's room becomes a room for clutter and we see it lose it significance as Gregor becomes less important to the story. In the end, they restart the cycle and begun leeching off the sister as they did Gregor.

Bailey Taylor said...

I find it odd that he is the central person in his family yet they care so little about who he actually is. They just want him to die because he can't provide anymore. He was never important in the first place.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I think the metamorphosis that his room goes through is really interesting. When he first transforms, the room is still identical to a room for a normal human. But, as time goes on, it gets better suited to gregor, and in this way it loses its humanity.