Discuss how Kafka evokes feelings of sympathy towards Gregor?
‘The Metamorphosis’ is written by Franz Kafka in 1915, during the time when modernism and existentialism was popular through literature. Kafka uses different devices to induce sympathy towards Gregor’s character by using isolation, his transformation and the different family responses to Gregor’s transformation.
Gregor Samsa is the main character of the novel and is the first character the reader learns about. The bizarre beginning of the novel states the transformation that has taken place to Gregor, “...he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” This immediately puzzles the reader and is the trigger of the sympathy from the reader to Gregor. “No matter how hard he threw himself onto his right side, he always rocked onto his back again.” The effort Gregor has to do to make himself turn over makes the reader sympathetic towards him because he is finding it extremely difficult, as his transformation has changed his ability to move at ease that he before was accustomed to. “...the change in his voice was nothing more than the first sight of a bad cold...” This shows that not only has Gregor’s body transformed into a “vermin” but his voice has also altered which illustrates that he is losing his human features and is becoming entirely insect. Sympathy is present from the reader because the hope of something human like present in Gregor is out of the question as his struggle to cope with the unsuspected transformation is complete.
Gregor’s role in the family is the provider in the household that he shares with his parents and sister. He is selfless, only thinks for others and not himself. This is seen in the start of the novel when his transformation has begun. “But that would be extremely embarrassing and suspicious...Gregor had not been sick even once.” The panic of not showing up for work and the effects on others and the excuses he may have to make are going through his...
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