Essay about Standards in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

Essay about Standards in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

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In Franz Kafka’s story The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa falls victim, to some strange affliction which somehow turns him into a colossal insect of some sort. His bizarre and tragic story takes place in a European apartment in the early twentieth century; a time in which much stock was placed in both etiquette and the appearance of propriety. These standards found throughout the society in which he is placed leads to his ultimate downfall.
When Gregor wakes up in his bed to find he has become an insect Gregor is only slightly concerned at his predicament. His first reaction is not what the reader might expect, anyone else probably would have panicked and worried about how this happened, but Gregor seems only to care about two things; how he will get out of his bed and how he will get to work on time. This is done by Kafka so that the reader can have a better understanding of just how strange a position Gregor is in both physically and mentally. The reader can see that by the standards of any society, with a mindset such as Gregor’s, his ultimate failure was inevitable.
The Specific society in which Gregor undergoes his transformation is so rigid in its order that Gregor’s situation is handled by the family and the family only. Short of the boss and a few people that necessarily had to see Gregor, the Samsa household felt it better to conceal its problem than to address it, in order to maintain an outward
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appearance of normalcy both to the community and to themselves. Their view of the problem was out of sight, out of mind.
The predicament of Gregor goes far beyond the standards of the specific society he is in however. His problem is universal and, although in different societies it may have been h...


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...or Gregor’s needs. Ultimately, her inability to go against the grain of what those surrounded her accepted greatly contributed to Gregors death.
The standard Gregor failed to meet the day he woke up and found himself as an enormous bug was humanity. When his family and employer found him to be no longer a human in form, they rejected him and treated him as an animal. It is true that Gregor only lost the form of a human, and not the mind or spirit that one associates with humanity, but the nature of the people surrounding him created an environment that refused to see him as anything but a bug that, for all intents and purposes, did nothing except serve as a memorial to what had once been Gregor. Gregor who was born human and died a bug through his metamorphosis, died because he failed to meet the standards of those around him and could not fend for himself.

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