Metamorphosis- Eating Scene Essay
In Kafka’s afflicting yet accepting novelette, Metamorphosis, Grete enters Gregor’s bedroom to find that he has not finished the fresh milk and bread that Grete brought in the day before. She returns to Gregor with a newspaper full of different foods that she knew Gregor would possibly like. Kafka presents the affined feelings Grete has towards Gregor after seeing him as this “monstorous vermin,” emphasizing his fate later in the novelette, using foreshadowing and symbolism during this dinner scene. Even while everyone in the family, even Grete, is disgusted and ashamed of what they see- Gregor the bug, Grete still decides to feed and clean Gregor and his room daily. When she returns to Gregor with the newspaper full of food in her hands, Gregor sees she’s gathered up all the foods and meals he realized he really liked: Moldy cheese that Gregor wasn’t fond of when it was fresh, half-rotten vegetables, leftover scraps from dinner that evening, bread, and water. Kafka uses the rotten food to symbolize the feelings that Gregor has already felt, the transformation he’s going through both literally and internally. Rotten produce symbolizes decay and excess, emphasizing not only Gregor accepting his death (though not actually dying or dead), but also going deeper into the novelette, Gregor’s family also decaying themselves. Which explains Grete’s own tolerance and “love” for Gregor decaying throughout the novelette. Kafka did indeed imply sympathy and affinity into this scene while foreshwadowing to show the transformation later in the novelette, where we witness Grete growing tired and more and more disgusted by Gregor until she finally stopped caring all together. The food given to Gregor in this scene did indeed symbolize sympathy. The fact that he didn’t like the taste of fresh milk and bread and preferred rotten, old, foul-tasting foods foreshadowed Gregor’s...
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