Society's True Nature Depicted Through Albert Camus' the Metamorphosis

Topics: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa Pages: 3 (838 words) Published: January 24, 2013
In Franz Kafka's enigmatic novel The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa lives the life of a bug. The traveling salesman awakens one morning to find himself incredulously transformed into a “monstrous vermin.” At First, Gregor is apathetic towards his “metamorphosis” and immediately begins describing his room and slight discomforts in great detail. At the same time, Gregor incessantly comments on unimportant aspects of his – almost dismissing the fact that he is now a cockroach. When his family starts knocking on his door, Gregor immediately begins conjuring scenarios in which he imagines that his family genuinely cares for him. This illusion is soon shattered after the reader is exposed to the true nature of the Samsas. Gregor's metamorphosis symbolizes what he is and has always been in society – a cockroach. Through Gregor's physical transformation, Kafka communicates that people are oblivious to how alienated they are from society and humanity in its entirety.

First off, in The Metamorphosis, readers are immediately exposed to the absurd atmosphere Kafka has created when he describes how “...Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams … [to find] himself transformed into a monstrous vermin” (1). At first glace this statement may sound normal, but after analyzing this and many other statements, it becomes apparent that Kafka has purposely placed the Samsa's in an unreal environment. For example, in the sentence previously mentioned, the third-person narrator speaks casually of Gregor's metamorphosis as if it were nothing. In his article, Johannes Pfeiffer says that Gregor “does not truly realize his new position in all its gravity” (55). Gregor's inability to acknowledge his transformation might represent people and their apathy towards the more significant things in life. Throughout the story, the narration alternates between first and third person – suggesting that the narrator of the story constantly shifts from Gregor to an unknown entity. However,...
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