Professor Angevine; English R1A
M, W 4-5:30
19 October 2014
Gregor’s World-Changing Transformation
“What is Art?” by Leo Tolstoy defines art as having the ability of “joining [men] together in the same feelings” as well as promoting the “well-being of individuals and of humanity” (Tolstoy 6). As long as the narrator is successful in making the reader relive his emotions, then he has successfully created a work of art. The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, fits Tolstoy’s definition of art because the masterpiece provides a way for the audience to sympathize with Gregor Samsa’s feelings of alienation as he turns into a vermin, and reminds us of what it is like to feel rejected and insignificant. Although the complexity of the novel challenges Tolstoy’s definition of art, most readers derive the same feeling and moral message towards the novel. Kafka paints a vivid picture of Gregor’s misery through the use of irony and third-person limited narration to make the audience feel the negative effects of isolation and alienation in our society as a whole.
Kafka uses irony to portray the severity of the Samsa Family’s actions towards Gregor and how their actions make the readers feel. Gregor’s experience is ironic because his family acts in the opposite way of what’s expected. Before the family was aware of Gregor’s transformation into a vermin, his door was locked and everyone was dying to get in. This highlight’s the family’s superficiality as they wait for him to go to work and support them rather than care for his well-being. When they realize that he has morphed into a vermin, although the doors remained unlocked, they completely stop all interaction with him. This fits the irony because even though he is still part of their family and has human feelings, he is so alienated from them based on his physical form that they feel no need to continue contacting him at all. On another note, Gregor’s actual metamorphosis can be regarded as a dark