The Metamorphosis

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Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is broken into three different sections; each bring about a change in the story and expand the setting from Gregor’s room to the outside world. With each change of setting comes a change in the characters within the story. Gregor changes from a man who thinks of nothing but his family and money problems, into someone who is concerned with his own problems. Gregor’s sister goes from a loving and caring person to someone that feels totally betrayed by his transformation. Gregor’s father is someone who seems to be harsh on Gregor and, with his transformation and the change of acts, only gets more harsh towards Gregor. Gregor’s mother is the only person who remains fairly constant through the story. She has love for Gregor as her son and even after the metamorphosis, she still has this sense of this creature being her son even though she is disgusted by his looks.

In Act I of this story Gregor awakes to find himself transformed. “ Gregor's eyes turned next to the window, and the overcast sky—one could hear raindrops beating on the window gutter—made him quite melancholy. What about sleeping a little longer and forgetting all this nonsense, he thought, but it could not be done, for he was accustomed to sleep on his right side and in his present condition he could not turn himself over.” This is one of the first passages for the story and reveals that Gregor doesn’t really care too much about his transformation. In this line his is more concerned with the weather and the fact that he can’t sleep on his side. This is coming from a man who has been transformed into a dung beetle. His general lack of concern over the transformation echoes throughout act I. He goes from thinking about how he was not awoken by his alarm clock to thoughts about how he has missed his train to work. Again the thoughts about being transformed into an insect and what he should do about it are not of his top priority. He just thinks about what he should do about work and generally dismisses the fact that he has transformed. It is not that he doesn’t accept the fact that he has been transformed but really just shows us the thought process of Gregor in Act I and gives us a sense of who this man is. Gregor’s father’s tone and treatment through Act I show that he is very harsh to Gregor. “Unfortunately, the flight of the chief clerk seemed completely to unhinge Gregor's father, who had remained relatively calm until now, for instead of running after the man himself, or at least not hindering Gregor in his pursuit, he seized in his right hand the walking stick that the chief clerk had left behind on a chair, together with his hat and overcoat, snatched in his left hand a large newspaper from the table, and began stamping his feet and flourishing the cane and the newspaper to drive Gregor back into his room.” Here we can see at the end of Act I Gregor is already some sort of foreign beast to his father. He is protecting a stranger by beating Gregor instead of trying to explain what is going on to this stranger. "Oh, dear God," cried his mother, in tears, “perhaps he's terribly ill and we're tormenting him. Grete! Grete!" she called out then. "Yes, Mother?" called his sister from the other side. They were calling to each other through Gregor's room. “You must go this minute for the doctor. Gregor is ill. Go for the doctor, quick.” Here Gregor’s mother shows that she is a loving mother thinking of Gregor’s well-being. Without seeing him she can sense something is wrong and asked to get help. While Gregor’s father is concerned with his reasoning for keeping the door closed Gregor’s mother knows it must be because of something terrible happening to Gregor. Although Gregor’s sister is not seen much in Act I one can see that Gregor loves her and she in return has great care for Gregor.

Act II expands the setting beyond the walls of Gregor’s room to glimpses at the living room and his family. One can see...
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