Free Research Paper On Gregor’s Transformation, Although Abrupt, Was Never, Complete. He Died Before He Could
Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis is the story of the life and death of Gregor Samsa, who, for unknown reasons, woke up one day to find out that he has been transmogrified into an insect. The book follows Gregor’s bouts to keep up with his old routines, duties and relations in the face of the grotesque albeit immediately accepted change, and how one by one, because of what has happened to them, they all break down, even Gregor himself. It is a story that was meant to illustrate man’s absurd life and desiderata for meaning and place in a silent and uncaring world. It is a piece that illustrates how one might be if one’s life were to be literally absurd, what might happen and how one might respond to these weird stimuli and events.
Kafka’s deliberate utilization of a simple and direct style of narration is to create a stark juxtaposition from the stygian conditions and ideas perpetuated in the story. It portrays the calm state of mind of the protagonist as he deals with the bizarre and, in the end, calamitous events that plague Gregor and the Samsa family. The narrative style of straightforwardness helps add a story of subtlety to the whole embroidery of complex and bizarre ideas, events and situations that weave together to produce a magnum opus of absurdist, surrealist and existentialist literature. It is a move that renders the psychological and existential phenomena deep within the psyche of Gregor more premium than that of what is happening in the outside world – it aids in focusing the reader on precisely that part of the protagonist that Kafka wants them to see and helps keep us from being caught up to much in the malaise of what the effects are which greatly adds to the effect of surrealism in the story. Kafka paints the story of an absurd man using what, in arts and literature, is called existentialism (Gullette Alan).
Existentialism is a movement popularized by Jean-Paul Sartre in the middle of the 20th century. Sartre and Camus, are known for their works on the topic of existentialism.
Sartre did not write a lot of works, but few of which he did write were regarded as profound. In one of his existentialism works, The Nausea, Sartre reveals the story of an academic who finds out of the singularity of his existence. The objects and other people do not matter in his experience as he does not pay any attention into the meaning of what they really are. It makes him realize the freedom of his steps in life. However, every freedom brings him to isolation which is on the one hand terrifying. Sartre in reality found out this complete freedom, which gave the opportunity to humans to respond for their decisions. Consequently, Sartre has turned the existentialism as the philosophical notion to a positive direction.
The similarly works concentrated over existentialism were written by Camus. Comparing one of his works, The Stranger, to Kafka we find few similarities in their philosophical views. In Camus’ work the protagonist Meursault in a random manner kill people on the beach, without any human feelings of guilt. He does not feel responsible for his actions, being completely free from judgments or prejudices. Moreover, the death of his mother does not bring him to any level of sadness. So, as in the works of Sartre, the theme of Kafka’s work is the isolation inside of complete freedom. Thinking of his past actions in the prison while waiting for execution, Meursault understands all his faults in life as absurdity, what together with the isolated nature of human existence is definitely a major topic in the writings of Kafka and Camus. Looking at their literary texts and the similar notions of existentialism such as absurdity and alienation in their work, it could be stated that these authors were mostly affected by each other. Absurdity is related to human condition in which humans face nothingness; it is from the encounter of a human’s need and the unreasonable silence of the world.
The use of existentialism in the book of Kafka, on the contrary, proved that the claim of what really is our purpose in life is that we are all replaceable. Gregor’s family was able to adapt to the change and replace Gregor with his father who took much pride in his new job. In a world where the system demands compliance and when someone works for a company headed by a single figurehead, the boss of that job wants the worker to do the most amount of work for the least amount of pay. If that person steps out of line or wants something, the worker can simply be replaced just as if the worker never existed or even mattered. Kafka was able to emphasize the use of this by showing how even if a person were to turn into a bug, that person would still be replaceable like all other workers in the workforce. Our only purpose in the workforce both past and even present is to provide as much of that a person can provide until he becomes incapable to do anymore of that type of work, when that happens, the worker is replaced and the company, just like Gregor’s family, moves on looking at what is best for them.
lose his human side altogether, before he gets evicted and becomes a street rat, but not before he has lost his family entirely. First to admit to the loss of Gregor was his sister Grete, who seemed in the begging to be one who was most caring and most understanding of his predicament yet in the end is revealed to have given up on his brother as a man and could not even believe that the insect in Gregor’s room is his brother. Another transformation prevalent in the story is the shift of family duties. In the beginning, Gregor worked for the family since his father’s business went down a few years back, he became the provider, his parent are always just in the house. His father has become weak and decrepit, his sister the runt of the family and is seen as almost useless, the home a warm and comfortable one- this was the scene prior to Gregor’s transformation - but this, along with Gregor, changes as the story goes on (Existential Absurdity And Alienation In Kafka’s The Metamorphosis).
Kafka contrasted and compared the overall Gregor's situation with the real every day situation in the society by depicting the family relations with Gregor the insect, who can no longer attend to his work. They resent him when he is not useful for them anymore. In real society, the use of the person plays the same great role. If you are productive human being everyone together with your family supports you throughout your life. In case you are not, they give you the freedom of isolation and you die alone. Existentialism dictates this norms and Kafka depicts them through surrealism he uses in The Metamorphosis. Through the depiction of business relationship with his father, Kafka states the existentialism ideas of balance that shows the importance of dividing the responsibilities of work and leisure activities because none of it is not vitally important (Gullette Alan).
Moreover, in Metamorphosis the family becomes bereft of income and had to dig up the father’s precious cache of savings to survive it would not be enough to sustain then for more than two years. Gregor’s father had to get a job, he became more polished and a tad bit more healthy; the mother had to sew; Gregor has replaced Grete’s place as the burden of the family, Grete aside from his father, becomes the most useful member in his enterprise to appease the insect. What was once a warm house became a house too small and to awkward to live in for, in their desperation, they have rented out Grete’s old room to three other gentlemen and the presence of Gregor the insect in his room was terror that looms over the heads of the family members. The transformation of the central character became the catalyst for a doom that was to exact itself in the life of the family, for a struggle both for Gregor and his family. He became an anomaly in the whole picture and began to skew it, not without helping the family to stand up for themselves first, to rebuild themselves into fully functioning individuals. The doom and the suffering, both physical and psychological, would eventually fade, but it is only when Gregor is dead.
All in all, throughout the text Gregor loses his identity. This is the main theme confronted by Kafka as existentialist writer.
Works Cited Page
Existential Absurdity And Alienation In Kafka’s The Metamorphosis And Hedayat’s The Blind Owl. , 2009. Internet resource.:
Gullette, Alan. Surrealist writers. Oakland, Calif, n.d.. Internet resource.: 30 Mar.2015 Kafka, Franz, and Ian Johnston. The metamorphosis. Auckland, N.Z.: Floating Press, 2015. 30 Mar. 2015