Kafka´s The Metamorphosis

In Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, the character Gregor transforms from a man into a bug, specifically a cockroach. Although Gregor physically changes, he does not change as a person. Gregor merely accepts his new condition as a bug and his family’s continuous abuse and hostility. Gregor’s acceptance of his new bug form is representative of his passive personality before and after his transformation. Gregor’s passivity, in response to the hostile world around him, causes his eventual downfall. Therefore, Kafka uses the character Gregor to exemplify how a passive attitude can cause one’s demise.

Kafka shows Gregor’s passive nature in “The Metamorphosis”. Gregor’s actions are passive before he becomes an insect. This is demonstrated through Gregor’s interactions with his family and coworkers. Gregor worked very hard to keep his family afloat and dig his father out of debt. All profits he made went to his family, he did not spend any of it leisurely. At Gregor’s unrewarding job, he was abused by his boss. Although Gregor despised his job as a salesman he never quit. "What a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Traveling day in and day out" (Kafka 2). This ironic statement shows Gregor’s unhappiness. The irony of this statement is because Gregor never chose the alienating career as a traveling salesmen. Gregor was forced to be a salesman by his father because he is indebted to his boss. So, Gregor works to pay off his father’s debts. While Gregor works relentlessly at a job he despises his family shows little appreciation for him. It is expected of him to dig his family out of debt. This is an example of Gregor’s passivity. Also, he works at a job with a boss that is cruel to him. Gregor stands up for himself to...

... middle of paper ... in reality very different. The two individuals, Gregor and Levi, approach their adverse situations differently. Gregor’s passive approach to dealing with hardships is much less effective than Levi’s approach to surviving the Holocaust. Levi, contrasting from Gregor, took initiative in his life. Levi stole food to survive and found a way to sell items for bread. Levi was resourceful and took initiative, therefore he survived the Holocaust. Contrasting, Kafka shows how passivity causes one’s downfall. Unlike Levi, Gregor did not adapt to a changing situation. He remained apathetic thus Gregor died. Levi is an accurate representation of how taking initiative is the most productive way to live one’s life.

As represented through the character Gregor, Kafka shows that passivity is not the best way to live one’s life. One must have an active role to survive.
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