Metamorphosis Critical Essay

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Author: Nicole Smith
Character Analysis of Gregor in “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka In Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, the transformation of the character Gregor from a man to one of the most repellent insects, a cockroach, may seem exaggerated and ridiculous, becoming more so over the course of the story as the action builds and emotions become more charged. Kafka’s intention, however, is to expose and explore the impoverishment of human psychology with respect to the ways in which changes in one’s circumstances and conditions reshape notions of justice and mercy. These themes will be explored further in this character analysis of Gregor in “The Metamorphosis”. While it is the subject of this character analysis, Gregor who has been mysteriously and inexplicably reduced to one of the lowest forms of animal life in this story by Kafka representing the absurd, it is Gregor’s family in “The Metamorphosis” whose psychological development is the least human and humane. Gregor has changed physical form, but Kafka clearly indicates that his essential being has not changed in any fundamental way. Gregor still has human feelings and needs, he still wishes to relate with his family and other members of society, and he still wishes to be responsible. As this character analysis of Gregor in “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka suggests, his mother, father, and his sister have not changed form, but their metamorphoses are the most profound because they demonstrate how easily one’s beliefs, values, and basic treatment of others can be compromised because of a failure to adapt psychologically. From the opening of “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, the character of Gregor is portrayed as a whole and complex human being. Like many people, he detests his job, but he recognizes that his work is necessary because it supports his family. He applies himself “with great earnestness” (Kafka 35) to his grinding work as a traveling salesman, not only because he wants to support his...
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