The Metamorphosis

Topics: The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Gregor Samsa Pages: 6 (2462 words) Published: February 25, 2008
Many people go through drastic changes in their lives trying to get away from their past when they have haunting memories caused from a tragedy or a past relationship. We go to great lengths to attempt to change or forget what has happened before, but it always seems to fail because our minds cannot simply forget these events that rip and tear at us from the inside. In Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Kafka explores the absurdity of life through Gregor's transformation as he struggles with himself and the outside world around him. In this story Kafka writes about a dream that he had years earlier. He tells the story just as the dream occurs and shows how one's troubles can push them so far these influences will affect the people who love them the most. Kafka first begins his absurd writings with aspects of dreams or nightmares that cause him great hurt, but makes them think about and learn from the dreams' hidden meanings. Kafka's stories have often been compared to dreams or nightmares, but the analogy has seldom been elaborated. We may here take the opportunity of inspecting the actual mechanics of the ‘dream-logic' – the pseudo-logic, the subrational thought – with which not only The Metamorphosis but Kafka's whole work is saturated (Flores 111). Dreams and nightmares represent absurdity or the unrealistic aspects and desires of the human mind. Kafka shows how people's lives can be based on something completely unreal and not focused on any of the actual important opportunities that people allow to pass right by them. Waking and finding himself supernaturally, unmistakably, and disgustingly transformed, Gregor shows concern only with the weather, his job, the train he missed, and the best method of getting out of bed: in other words, he automatically displaces his attention on to inessentials, on to peripheral details of his situation, distributing and reducing his manifest emotion accordingly (Flores 111). Kafka displays the way the human mind avoids the important thoughts if they are hurtful or damaging to the normal routine of the daily lifestyle. Gregor focuses on these small problems instead of the most important problem, that he has been transformed into a measly bug. This extraordinary change begins to affect the ones around him quickly and harshly. Gregor's family is greatly affected by his metamorphosis and struggles to try and deal with the situation calmly. Each of the family members deals with the situation much differently than the next because each of them looks at the circumstances in different ways. The mother represents the possibility of salvation; in this case salvation from writing. She holds out the hope that Gregor as the monstrous bug, as the ‘distorted metaphor,' the unrepresentable can still exercise a useful and salutary activity within the realms of the family and language. She tries to treat Gregor the monster as if he were nothing but her son – opposes emptying his room of furniture for fear that he will miss it. However she cannot bear to look at him, at his monstrosity, cannot bear to see him as he is (Gross 81). Gregor's mother obviously suffers from Gregor's transformation and attempts to deal with the situation with the best of her abilities. She only makes Gregor's attempt to escape worse because it is not working as he planned and he is greatly affected by her repulsion of his drastic changes. "The sister, almost from the outset, ministers to the needs of her brother as vermin – brings him garbage to eat, clears his room of furniture so the he can move freely over the walls" (Gross 81). Gregor's sister seems to accept his transformation easier than his mother. This is true because his sister is less mature and does not see it as such a tragedy as a more mature adult would. His sister does not realize the reality so she treats him the same as she had before. As the novel progresses, Gregor further troubles his whole family with his new disgusting form. Gregor attempts to become...
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