The Philosophical Novel Of The Metamorphosis English Literature Essay

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Franz Kafka`s "The Metamorphosis" is the most shocking, extraordinary and at the same time philosophical novel. The fact of the transformation of the main character into the bug may cause esthetical shock not only because of the improbability of the situation, but because of that feeling of almost physiological disgust to imagination of the bug of the human's size. The novel is the brightest expression of the tragic perception of the world of Franz Kafka himself. The situation of the metamorphosis in this novel, as well as in the others, may have different interpretations. At the same time the most banal one lies on the surface. It is the alienation of the human in the family and in society; the loneliness of the sensitive man of sympathy and self-contribution; total loneliness, caused by the awareness of his unlikeliness. Kafka pays attention to the character's doom with the help of the terrible metonymy: the absolute spiritual isolation he reflects through the unbelievable metamorphosis of his appearance.

Gregor Samsa lived in his own small world: he tried as hard as he could to support his family, to bring money and to help his beloved sister to enter the conservatory. But one day his life broke. He became miserable, helpless and unable to do anything, even to eat. He was now a centipede, hating each moment of his life. The alienation of his personality began with the moment he felt that he could not even get up from his bed. From that very moment he felt so unhappy, that he with the whole heart wanted to die. His alienation grew with the attitude of his family to this event. His father and even mother could not understand his "disease", and they even avoided entering his room, they were ashamed of him and considered him a burden, drawing them to the bottom. Taking into account that Gregor was the only working person in the family, helping his father to pay his debts, he did not meet a proper attitude. On his first day after the transformation "He was not thinking at all about abandoning his family". (Franz Kafka) He believed that it would soon be all right and he would come back to his daily routine. He could not even imagine that he himself had an opportunity to be abandoned.

He felt that his family was afraid of him, they did not want to see him, and at the same time they could not get rid of him, since in the deepness of their hearts they remembered that there was their son, but in the body of an awful bug. The attitude of his relatives was terrible. It was unbearable to sit in the room, to move slightly and to guess what would happen next. Within several days the family treated him as a real bug, they needed to get rid of. They even began to feed him with "old half-rotten vegetables, bones from the evening meal, covered with a white sauce, which has almost solidified, some raisins and almonds, cheese, a slice of dry bread a slice of salted bread, smeared with butter". (Franz Kafka) It is impossible to imagine any other worse situation than this one. Kafka presents Gregor`s alienation felt in every second. The bug wanted to cry, he wanted to shout, but he could not because he already lost his abilities of a human voice. He could only hear those words in his mind, and he heard them so clearly because he repeated them so many times. He was lonely with his thoughts, he did not lose his ability to think, and that, I believe, is the most terrible and difficult state. He was alienated by everything, and first of all by the ability to communicate, to explain everything to his relatives, to speak to them, to find a solution of the situation. He left alone with his thoughts, and all he could do is to make self-reproaches. "The entire time he trembled under the coach", (Franz Kafka) being afraid to hurt anyone with his presence. And there he lived, having lost everything: his family, his friends, his job, and his aim in life - everything he was struggled for. He now could not speak and earn money, he felt awful. But this was not the real grief. The real tragedy, as it was said before, is that he left alone, all alone in the whole world. Each of us has people, we love; people, we need and people, who will never leave us alone. Gregor Samsa had these people, but a tragedy happened to him and they turned aside. His alienation as well lies in the fact that he made life of his close people unbearable, he felt with every cell of his buggy body that it was difficult to them to let Gregor live in their house. It would be better for them, he thought, to rent the room he lived in in order to get more money.

Some time passed and Gregor was dying. His father threw rotten apples in him when he tried to get out of his room and one of the apples stuck in his back. He was lying in his bed and "he remembered his family with deep feeling and love, and his thought that he had to disappear was really decisive." (Franz Kafka) These were the thought of courage, faithful, devoted man, who was ready to everything for his close people and their happiness.

The day of his death came, and for Gregor`s family this was the day of relief. His father, after getting to know about the death of his son, said: "Well, now we can give thanks to God". (Franz Kafka) Yes, they were looking for this day as for the happiest day of their life. They cleaned the room and got rid of the Gregor`s remnants with the ordinary broom and even decided "to celebrate" this event by going for a walk, making plans for future.

After reading this one becomes really shocked and scared at the same time. It is unbelievable that the close people can not even bury their son, who died in such a agonizing conditions in a proper way. Gregor`s alienation follows him even after his death. He lived alone with his tragedy and he died alone with it. He did not feel sorry and offended, may be he was feeling happy as he now could help his family. He, a person of kindness and hard work, did not get proper attitude, but he dies, being sure that his death is a solution.

Kafka`s presentation of the ideas of alienation in the novel is quite evident. First of all the appearance of the main character is so unique and so unbelievable; it is clear that such events do not happen every day, and that is why exactly Gregor was all alone, because there was no one in the world in a similar situation. There could not be any other situation in life of a human, where nobody could help him. That is why the idea of the transformation itself bears a lot of sense. Moreover, people got used to think that the close people are people who will help you in any case and are those, we can rely on anyway. But Gregor`s relatives did not appear to be so, they were egoistical, selfish people, thinking about their own comfort and the opinion of others. Eventually, there was nobody to help Gregor to bear his "disease".