transformed into a giant beetle overnight. This transformation is a form of rebellion that
turns out to be a punishment for that rebellion. The Metamorphosis is a story of
subconscious rebellion and isolation to avoid one's responsibilities.
The story begins, "When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling
dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin." (Kafka, 3) This
is quite surprising. Most people would be extremely shocked and frightened to wake up
as a giant beetle, but this matter-of-fact tone Kafka uses makes it seem as if Gregor is
not shocked at all. It sounds like this is completely normal. In fact, Gregor ponders
more over his job than his strange transformation. He seems to immediately forget
what has happened to him, and begins to rant "what an awful job I've picked! Day in,
day out--on the road. The upset of doing business is much worse than the actual
business in the home office...the torture of traveling, worrying about changing trains,
eating miserable food at all hours, constantly seeing new faces, no relationships that
last or get more intimate." (Kafka, 4) It's obvious that Gregor is more than tired of his
job. "To the devil with it all!" (Kafka, 4) he says.
As Gregor continues to procrastinate getting out of bed he thinks rebellious
thoughts against his boss. He wishes to tell him off, surprise him so much that falls off
his desk, and walk out with his freedom. However, because of the so-called debt that
his father incurred, Gregor has had to suppress his rebellious wish. Kafka alludes to the
fact that Gregor's rebellious wishes began far before the me...
... middle of paper ...
...umans he is thrown into
isolation. This isolation truly completes the metamorphosis, because if he can be
understood by humans than he can't be a full insect.
In the end, Gregor is basically punished to a life of solitary confinement in his
empty, useless room. The metamorphosis acts as his subconscious rebellion and his
punishment for rebellion. His health declines and he eventually stops eating until he
dies. His family doesn't even care enough about him to do a proper burial. He was
simply "swept away."
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. New York City, New York: Bantam Books, 1972. Print.
Sokel, Walter H. "Kafka's 'Metamorphosis': Rebellion and Punishment." Monatshefte, XLVIII (April-May 1956), pp. 203-14.
Politzer, Heinz. Franz Kafka: Parable and Paradox. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1962, Pp. 37-41.
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