Friday, January 20, 2017

The Multi-Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis gets its namesake not only from the physical metamorphosis of Gregor from human to dung beetle, but also from less evident metamorphosis of the people and world around him. The prime example of this external metamorphosis is the feelings of his family. This metamorphosis happens even before Gregor is transformed into a dung beetle. He is forced to work as a salesman against his will because he needs to repay the debt that his father has accrued. From the moment he takes that job onward, his family sees him as less of a human and more of a tool or creature under their command. His father even lies to him about their finances so that Gregor works harder at his job, even though this would mean Gregor has to spend more time doing something that he hates. Despite all of this, Gregor remains loyal to his family even after his metamorphosis. He is happy to find his family has been holding back money, so that they can pay for living without his financial support. The actual metamorphosis of his family occurs more in Gregor's mind than in the actual family. By the end of the novella, Gregor realizes that his family thinks of him as a bug and does not care for him anymore. His last act is to selflessly die in resignation.


Brooke Williamson said...

Sacrifice was mentioned several times during our class discussions. Gregor makes the ultimate sacrifice when he dies because we see his family react in relief. Gregor knew how much of a burden he had become to his family and sacrifices himself again for the happiness of his family despite their disregard for him. This was truly saddening for me to read and made me greatly sympathize with Gregor and view him as more humanistic than his family who were actual humans.

Bailey Taylor said...

Gregor was honestly the most selfless person ever. He gave everything for his family and took nothing in return. His family didn't even appreciate him and he still gave his life for them. Gregor was as insignificant to them as a bug.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I don't think that gregor necessarily thinks that his family thinks of him as a bug, but that the bug is not actually gregor. I think his family cares for gregor, but they do not believe that gregor is the insect.