Review Of The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka English Literature Essay

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The tone in The Metamorphosis is depressing. The readers follow Gregor through his life as an insect and how his family never shows affection towards him. They feed him, but after a while they stop and completely ignore him all together. The point of view is third person and limited omniscient. The story is mainly told through the perspective of Gregor Samsa. We discover Gregor's body and how it works as discovers it. For example, If he's hungry, we don't know what he likes to eat until he discovers his like for rotten foods.

Change is a theme that is first to occur in The Metamorphosis. 'As Gregor Samsa awoke from unsettling dreams one morning, he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He lay on his hard armorlike back and when he raised his head a little he saw his vaulted brown belly divided into sections by stiff arches from whose height the coverlet had already slipped and was about to slide off completely.' Besides being transformed into a massive bug, Gregor changes in other ways during the course of the novella. When he's first transformed, he had hope that he would be changed back to his human form and be able to go back to work and help his parents pay off their debts, even though he wants to quit his job as a traveling salesman. Unfortunately, he loses all sense of hope and falls into a deep depression and eventually thinks that he should disappear. He becomes starved, tired, and lonely. Sadly, Gregor never gains his happiness back. His transformation has an effect on the other characters as they change their own behavior. Gregor's mother always loved her son. Mrs. Samsa, however, can't handle the sight of Gregor after he changes and faints or screams when she sees him. This suggests that she may be carried away more by the idea of maternal love than actually feeling it for her son. Mr. Samsa never liked the fact that his son provided fiscal care for his family. When Gregor transforms, Mr. Samsa doesn't care and tries to kill him with apples. He envied Gregor, but now it can be inferred that he is happy that Gregor is vermin because now he can be the dependable man once again. Grete, his sister, loves Gregor and takes care of him for the first few weeks of his bug life. But she never talked to him, never looked at him, and eventually ignored him. These transformations draw attention to the ways that people change under pressure, physically, psychologically and emotionally. Family in The Metamorphosis is not based on the stereotypical family. The story begins with Gregor, the son, as the sole provider and the father as weak and dependent. When Gregor changes, Mr. Samsa returns to his position as the head of the family. The novella questions the traditional family structure by showing the Samsas turning their backs on their duty to Gregor as a member of their family. This is proved when Kafka writes, 'The apple remained imbedded in his flesh reminded even his father that Gregor was a member of the family, in spite of his present pathetic and repulsive shape, who could not be treated as an enemy. On the contrary, it was the commandment of family duty to swallow their disgust and endure him, endure him and nothing more.' No one ever tried to remove the apple from his back or even care that Gregor was suffering. Gregor is isolated from his family once he changed forms. Gregor feels guilty and shameful at being a parasite, both literary and figuratively, to his mother, father, and younger sister. Gregor's removal from human society causes him more loneliness and unhappiness. He always had felt alone but now he really is alone and has a hard time adjusting to it. He climbs the walls and up a picture to show that he's not dangerous and wants to be loved and noticed.

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There are numerous types of literary devices in The Metamorphosis. The entire story is an allegory. The setting seems so ordinary that it's easy to see Gregor's transformation as a symbolic one. Imagery is throughout the whole novella. For example, Gregor says, 'His father was holding himself very erect, dressed in a tight-fitting blue uniform with gold buttons, the kind worn by messengers at banking concerns; above the high stiff collar of the jacket his heavy chin protruded; under his bushy eyebrows his black eyes darted bright, piercing glances; his usually rumpled white hair was combed flat, with a scrupulously exact, gleaming part.' He describes his father trying to kill him in his bank messenger uniform. Metaphors are constant t in The Metamorphosis. Gregor uses a metaphor when talking about his job. 'He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.' But the author also uses a metaphor to show the relationship between the members of a low class family. To show that relationship he turns the main character, Gregor Samsa into an insect. From there, the readers see that his family makes no attempts to get used to Gregor's new form. Whether he is a bug or human, his family isn't very close to him or with each other.

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The Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka shows how difficult life is being human, let alone being vermin. Gregor has to make the emotional, physical , and psychological transition as well as his family when unexpected changes impact their living. The Metamorphosis shows how family reacts when put under pressure.