The Greatest Metamorphosis

One of the principal occurrence in the novella is the protagonist turning into a bug, physically, he is not alone, he’s surrounded by family yet he is still lonely. In The Metamorphosis, a workaholic becomes a bug, thus his family is forced to adapt, resulting in multiple transformations. Unlike Gregor, his family member’s metamorphosis was not physical, but that does not make them less important

Before his nightmare like evolution, he lived his like going in constant circles, adventure and hope stripped from him. In the first section of the novella Kafka states, “For the time being, however, I must get up because my train leaves at five”, shining light on his tightly fit schedule. Before his time as a traveling salesman, his life was on the battlefield “On the wall just directly opposite hung a photograph of Gregor from his army days”. He went from fighting in battle to having a job he despises and earns him no respect. The obvious changes accrued to Gregor’s skeletal system, but the deeper ones involve his life, job, and interests.

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The father also experiences a transformation. Before his son’s conversion, the father had no need to contribute money for their household, he relied on his son’s money which was earned by being employed in a physical and emotional straining business, but when Gregor mutated into a bug that was all about to change. Before the protagonist evolved, the father was believed to no longer be able to work, “Now his father was still healthy, certainly, but he was an old man who had not worked for the past five years and who in any case could not be expected to undertake too much…”. After Gregor’s change he, the breadwinner was no longer able to provide the one thing he needed no bring back home to maintain his family’s lifestyle, the father had to make a change. Now instead of a robe adorning his body as he laid on an armchair and had trouble standing on his own feet now “Was holding himself very erect, dressed in a tight-fitting blue uniform with gold buttons, the kind worn by messengers at banking concerns…”. His appearance and posture took a turn for the better as he now had to go back into the field of a workplace after years of being absent from it, he didn’t even settle for a job any civilian on the side of the road could’ve gotten, he went for a position in a bank. Emotionally at the dawn of the protagonist’s mutation , he wanted nothing to do with his offspring, in fact he was attempting to hurt him. In part two “ One apple, don’t weakly, graced Gregory back and slid off harmlessly. But the very next one that came flying after allegedly forced its way into Gregor’s back…”. The father could have killed his eldest, the only reason death did not make an appearance was due to to the mother “clasping his father’s neck, begging for Gregor’s life”. After that event I, the reader, assumed next time there was a chance to kill the bug he would be first to take action however, he proved that assumption wrong. In the last part of the novella when the Geeta wanted to kill Gregor, the father agreed at first then proceeds to say, “if he could understand us, then maybe we could come to an agreement with him”. In that moment hesitation crawled it’s way to his consciousness as the thought of ending Gregor’s life and bothered giving the pronoun“him”, at least mentioning a gender unlike the sister that called him “it”.

While Gregor’s metamorphosis is physical his sister’s was emotional. She had always loved and cared for Gregor, before and after he changed into the bug. At the beginning of the transformation, Grete brought food, even keeping in mind what he enjoyed and what repulsed him, “his favorite drink and surely the reason his sister had let it out for him”. As time progresses she no longer places importance in his meals, no longer caring if he savors it or not.

Before the incident of Gregor’s change, Grete had to do almost nothing around the house, they had maids to do everything for them, now she had to cook and clean. At the genesis of the novella, she felt strongly towards her brother, she loved and admired him, but in the end, the greatest plot twist happened. “I won’t pronounce the name of my brother in front of this monster, and so all I say is: we have to try to get rid of it”. She wanted to kill her brother due to the labor and pain his new self brought the family. She didn’t even want her brothers name to slip out while the “monster” was present. “It” becoming her way of acknowledging the person who used to maintain her way of living, longer considered him a brother, son, human, or even a bug. His name no longer slips past the people whose roof he kept up, stripping him of his identity.

As I mentioned before Gregor physically went through the greatest metamorphosis ,however, his sister was the one who went from a lovable younger sister who tended her helpless brother to an emotionless person who told her parents they had to kill their own son.

Metamorphosis And Mental Health

The transformation and change of a person into a creature created an impact on the entire story There was a change in the behavior of the family as they were not dependent on Gregor Samsa anymore Due to passing time Gregor started losing his humanity and turning into the bug like creature.

“The classics are books which exercise a particular influence, both when they imprint themselves on our imagination as unforgettable, and when they hide in the layers of memory disguised as the individual’s or the collective unconscious.” This quote by Calvino applies in the story of Kafka’s “The Transformation” in a major way because the book being a classic explores intrusive thoughts of Gregor Samsa, the main character through whose mind Kafka narrated the story. The emotional responses of Gregor Samsa interpreted of not being heard or recognized by his family members. In the story, Kafka mentioned about the transformation of Gregor Samsa a travelling salesman, into a bug like creature all of a sudden one certain morning. However, Kafka did not mention any reason behind this transformation, and change of a person into a creature, created an impact on the entire story.

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“A classic is a book that comes before other classics: but anyone who has read the others first, and then reads this one, intently recognizes its place in the family tree.” This quote by Calvino applies in the story of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” in a major way Gregor the main character goes through a series of mental changes, that symbolize how alienated he becomes from the humans of the modern world. Through the metamorphosis Gregor becomes more aware of what he wants and what he needs instead of what he needs to do for other. The Metamorphosis also symbolizes the mental change Gregor goes through, as by not acting as much as a human than what he did before. Gregor’s radical change of mind is boosted by the events that take place about all the lies that he was told about his family’s financial problems. Therefore causing a loss of caring for his family and a feeling of individuality. Which all start alienating him from his family and the rest of human society. Through the metamorphosis Gregor becomes more aware of what he needs and not what others need him to do. Throughout most of the story, Gregor lives a life of serving and not receiving anything for his troubles. A life of servitude caused by his family who becomes in debt because of bad economic decisions. Gregor is asked to help, but he feels it is his responsibility to pay the debt his family has and his father decide to take advantage of this.

Calvino begins with the lighthearted remark that ‘classics are those books about which you usually hear people saying “I’m rereading… never `I’m reading,” then goes on to show a contagious passion for great literature of all types. Reading criticism of classics, he writes, is often a waste of time; reading, savoring, and rereading them is of much greater importance. while Grete’s position within the family improves, her relationship with Gregor deteriorates. Prior to morphing into an insect, Gregor had a close relationship with his sister he wanted to send her to the Conservatory so she could learn music. Indeed, Grete likely brings Gregor food because she has fond memories of her brother. But despite her compassion, Gregor does not seem to accept his sister has grown up, mentally.

All these factors that caused him to become a bug, had ultimately been his choice, as it was he that decided to make his family a priority, allowing them to influence him to become anisect. Kafka intentionally made it clear that it was Gregor’s choice to become an insect, and on one else’s. Gregor’s man-to-insect conversion was the best thing that could happen to the Samsa family. Once dispirited and listless, they could now enjoy walks in the park and look forward to a new home. Although some may argue that Kafka’s story is horrific, it merely illustrates one must ‘go through hell to get to heaven”. Gregor’s situation, while tragic, makes the Samsa family stronger.

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