Gregor’s new life is now controlled by others. His room serves as a microcosm for his life, which he could once control but missed his chance to do. He cannot not decide between an empty room, which would “let him crawl around unimpeded in any direction,” and “the good influence the furniture had on his condition.” When Gregor finally makes up his mind, he is weak and ineffectual, hurrying “backwards to the far end of the couch” when his mother comes in to remove more furniture. Gregor is too afraid to disconvenience his family to pursue his own goals and ambitions. He downplays his needs instead of fulf...
... middle of paper ...
...ation seem even more shocking than it was,” knowing that no one else would “dare enter a room dominated by Gregor crawling about the bare walls by himself;” she could thus replace Gregor as a more determined provider of the family.
Franz Kafka’s emotional state at the time this novella was written alludes to a the deeper meaning of the story. The Metamorphosis was for him an extrapolation of his life ‘on the fence,’ to explore the consequences of his failure to decide. Was he Jewish or gentile? German or Czech? Militarist or pacifist? His enemy was neither the Axis, not the Allies; it was himself. He could not figure out which label to adopt, which belief to subscribe to, who to be. Kafka’s development of tuberculosis 2 years later was his fulfillment of his own prophecy. He incurred the same fate he bestowed upon Gregor for failing to decide. Kafka became a bug.
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