The True Metamorphosis
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka offers much to be critiqued, including the reason why Gregor Samsa was transformed into a hideous beetle. The truth is Gregor had put himself into a position of demise long ago. Over the years, he had worked himself into both physical and mental exhaustion. Gregor was the sole provider, and eventually his family grew less appreciative of him. His relationship with his family had gone south. They were no longer as close, and it were as if he had become isolated. In Education for Tragedy, Walter H. Sokel elaborates on that point. According to Sokel, the change from human to insect occurred due to the alienation he faced from his family. That alienation continued throughout the novella, eventually leading to Gregor’s death. Several times, Sokel refers to Gregor as being a “prisoner”. For example, he writes “Gregor, an adult, is a prisoner in his own family…. On the other hand, he is a total stranger in the family and lives in their midst in the state of exile” (Sokel 164). This quote can be interpreted as saying that Gregor is trapped in his own house, and stuck there with little hope as he is not close with the rest of the Samsas. To further show his disconnect from his family, Sokel writes about Gregor’s decision to lock his door. He states “When Gregor wakes up as a vermin, his main problem, since he has locked the door of his room, is reaching the others out of his literal seclusion” (Sokel 164). For Sokel, Gregor locking his door shows that he is living in a different world from the rest of his family. Gregor did everything that he possibly could for his family, and they never really opened their arms for him. They enjoyed the rewards Gregor brought them from his labor, but never showed gratitude to him. The metamorphosis of Gregor into an insect did not just highlight how insignificant he was to his family after the transformation, but also proved the insignificance he had to them before...
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