Reward/Punishment in “Metamorphosis”
Reward and punishment are often used as means for handling kids in terms of education. Gregor Samsa, caught in a beetle’s body, also reminds us of an indigent child, depending on other people’s mood and commitment. Before the actual metamorphosis in the book, he was trying to provide his family a solid life by taking up all the responsibility and work. Therefore his loss of the possibility to work seems like a huge change and shock for his family.The meaning of reward and punishment, caused by his metamorphosis, changes throughout the book for all the characters. His new abdomen is highly sensitive, as one of his legs breaks easily and also his sense of seeing changes for the worse- Gregor exposes all the new disadvantages in the creature of a cockroach. “The chief clerk had already reached the stairs; with his chin on the banister, he looked back for the last time (p27)”- but the consequences are more radical for the people around him, such as the chief clerk who cannot stand seeing Gregor as a cockroach and therefore leaves. Additionally the fact that Gregor had always been a good employee, who had never been sick or late for work, makes the fact that he wakes up too late appear even worse. As a means of punishment, he loses his job- despite the fact that as a cockroach anyway he would not have been able to continue working. The family also loses its housemaid, who first tries, but in the end cannot stand living under a roof with Gregor. The same holds true for three gentlemen who are renting a room in the family’s apartment but quit after seeing the domestic animal and refuse to pay for the days they lived and ate at the house. Even his mother, who truly wants to support her son, passes out after seeing a brown stain that Gregor left on the ceiling. The fact that before the metamorphosis everyone wanted to come into his room but later nobody does makes him sad. He wants to thank Grete for caring about him and for...
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