The Psychology Of Metamorphosis English Literature Essay

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Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" has a strong psychological feel to it. This is not surprising of Kafka's work. According to our notes, Kafka always includes his own psychological issues when writing. It also states that Kafka's father had "once linked his son to a vermin." In "The Metamorphosis" Gregor speaks about "the office boy being a tool of the boss and a spineless mindless creature." I feel this is one of the first reasons we can see why Gregor turned into an insect. Even though Gregor is referring to the office boy, he must feel the same about himself. It is as though Gregor loses a connection to himself. Gregor's mother said, "he's so stubborn" and his chief clerk referred to him as follows: "knew and believed him to be a calm and reasonable person." These opinions were before they knew of his change. Isolation is another strong situation we can feel in this story; you get the impression he felt isolated even before his change. Gregor did not have much of a life, he was dedicated and worked to take care of his family and pay off their debt, but they have consistently taken all he does for granted.

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I feel Gregor's reason for transforming into an insect was his lack of human contact and feel a sense of only being needed for his ability to provide for his family. Gregor's chief clerk also seemed to see Gregor as a vermin when he arrived at his flat and is at his door. He stated, "Did you hear Gregor talking just then? That sounded like an animal." At that point Gregor had not realized humans could not understand what he was trying to say. Gregor felt so obligated to his boss, "I'm so deeply beholden to the boss, as you well know." It was like Gregor only existed for his family and his boss. Feeling so indebted to his boss is an action of dehumanization. Everything in Gregor's life pointed to him being imprisoned in his own world. As I stated in the beginning, "the office boy being a tool of the boss and a spineless mindless creature," not only did Gregor see the office boy like this, he could see this of himself. It is as though his mental state takes over his body. I feel these are just a few of the many reasons that lead Gregor to becoming an insect.

Once Gregor was transformed into an insect, one can see his family treats him like a vermin. They had always treated him that way to a degree, but it was just much more evident once he actually changed. His sister had the most patience with Gregor at the beginning; trying to find foods that would lure him to the door so he could eat. His sister "found the sight of him unbearable" and kept him in his room. "As soon as she had stepped over the threshold, and without even pausing to shut the door, for all her usual concern to spare everyone the sight of Gregor's room, she ran straight to the window, tore it open with fumbling hands as if she were on the point of suffocating, and stood by it for a while, no matter how cold the weather, taking deep breaths." This provides an insight as to how Gregor's sister still feels about him, yet she showed the most compassion for him. Gregor's mother always wanted to get into his room so she could see him, but his sister and father would not allow it. When his mother would see Gregor, she would faint every time; she yearned for the man he once was. His father, on the other hand, wanted to get rid of Gregor more than anything. He saw him as a complete disgrace to the family and did everything in his power to get rid of Gregor. "But another [apple] came flying after it hit him on the back and sank right in." When Gregor passed away, his father said, "thanks be to God." The truth was is that he had killed Gregor when he threw the apple. This is the isolation Gregor felt throughout the story. The sense of closeness is not felt from his family even from the beginning. The family's dependence on Gregor is overwhelming. Once Gregor is transformed, his isolation is best described as solitary confinement. It is as though his family does not want him to exist. The family eventually learns to take care of their own selves due to Gregor's change.

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Franz Kafka's theme of subordination, isolation, and change is easily portrayed through Gregor Samsa's character in his story, "The Metamorphosis." Gregor was subordinated by his family and peers. Being locked in his room and treated like he was nothing illustrates that he was under the authority of a superior person, in this case his father. One can also feel the sense of isolation. Gregor's mother still hopes that she might find her son somewhere inside this being. The most obvious use of Kafka's theme is change. It seems as if almost everything and everyone changed in this story. Gregor changed physically into an insect. His father turns in to a powerful figure and wears a uniform to present it. His sister blooms into a beautiful young lady at the end of the story. Take, for instance, the change into a butterfly. A caterpillar (an insect) becomes confined to his cocoon, and in weeks it is turned into a gorgeous butterfly. "The Metamorphosis" displays this process in an extravagant way. It is as though Gregor had to suffer and die in order for his family to flourish. They were so dependent on him for support; neither they nor he would have ever been able to escape the situation any other way. Gregor never questioned why he was turned into an insect and if or when he will turn back into a human before he dies. It seemed as though he knew it was his own fate.