The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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The Metamorphosis, a novella written by Franz Kafka in 1912 and published three years later, is one of his most unique literary works. The absurdity of the novella Metamorphosis is marked by madly unsettling acts and scenes that occur in an unappealing setting. In real life, however, absurdity is the failure of a fellow human being to describe an individual's life. By making Gregor the main character in his account of the metamorphosis, Franz expresses absurdity. Gregor's life is ridiculous to the point that he feels undervalued and rejected by society (Kafka et al. 76). He woke up a certain day early in the morning only to realize that he is completely transformed. He was no longer a human being but a very disgusting creature like an insect such as a cockroach. Gregor feels that he is misplaced in the society and that he will never find a comfortable place in this world because he was receiving rejections from everyone. He was employed has a sales person involved in traveling from one place to the other like a nomad, so he used to spend his nights in the hotel rooms where he uses to eat the leftovers.

His creature character is displayed in the story by the way he operates and serves his master by doing everything he has been instructed without considering consequences that may arise. His life is full of loneliness and isolation in that he does not socialize or participate in any form of entertainment activities. However, despite his anomalous behavior, Gregor is so much dedicated to his job to the extent that he is always ready to sacrifice his time and life so that he can provide for his family though we are told in the story that he was considered nobody in the family (Mosley 33). His level of devotion to his job was extreme in that he became part of the job and believed that he cannot do any job apart from his current job. He underrated his potential of making advancement in life thus he even lost direction in life and adopted the life of a strange creature on earth.

Learning absurdity that was the metamorphosis gave us a better understanding of Franz narrative. We realize that the exact time and place where the story was built plus Gregor’s apartment has not been mention in the whole write up. The story only describes the direction of the health center that is opposite Gregor’s window and that Gregor’s apartment is on the outskirts of town. The narrative revolves in Gregor’s apartment and under his couch where everything happens including all his frustrations in life. These acts that Gregor does including hiding from friends and family members including the harsh instructions that he had to adhere to in his job plus the filthy food he used to eat is a clear indication that he is in detention (Kuper and Kafka 87). From the narrative, we can learn that the author tries to indirectly explain how people get into troubles that result from their mistakes that would rather have been avoided. This act is expressed in the story where the author explains how Gregor is betrayed by his family in which he was the bread winner. There is also a theme of betrayal where we are told that the family did not care about him to the extent that they rejected him after transforming into an insect-like creature. The family did not care what the lodger, the outsiders and the waiter who resembled the Nazi people did to Gregor when they enter his room in the hotel. The people who entered her room may have tortured him because according to the history, Nazi were arrogant people who would abruptly enter houses of the villagers and take what they want forcefully. The way the story narrates the betrayal character of Gregor`s family we can learn that the transformation was not necessarily becoming an insect but the life he started to live after receiving a rejection from his family.

The title metamorphosis implies changes in life phases, and from the story, we learn that Gregor was not the only person who went transformation but his family also adopted an inhuman character when they deny Gregor at his point of need. Despite the fact that he used to toil hard to provide for his family, his family members isolated him and even wished him death (Kafka 24). We see in the story that after transformation, his family members withdraw everything from his room claiming that he does not need them including his bed.

We also see absurdity from the start of the story where Gregor wakes up transformed into another creature of which in real life situation it is an unusual thing that can be classified as witchcraft. The issue of Gregor to operate inside his room from the time he is transformed to the time he dies in the same room shows absurdity because a human being will automatically get worried and look for the solution. Instead for asking or seeking assistance from his parents and family, he hides under the couch which is a weird reaction for a normal human being (Kafka 26). Gregor follows all the instructions in his job place dedicatedly even though they are harsh and unbearable. Gregor gets used to hiding from his friends and family to the extent that he is used to loneliness which is not common for human beings who love socializing freely with friends and more so the family.

From the narrative, we learn that we should not live a life of absurdity even though life is full of absurdity. We should try to live a well-defined life full of faith and hope to achieve the best in life even though some dreams may not come true. We should always plan for the future and work hard and smart to have a successful life despite the fact that we can die anytime. We should never undermine our potential in everything we do because with faith and hard work everything is possible. In the case of difficulties, we should never accept defeat, but we should create a path where seemed to be no way. We should not stick to the daily routine but try to be innovative by trying new things. One should never be afraid to make mistakes in trying to invent something new because the worst mistake is leaving an issue unattended. No matter what life may offer, one should avoid absurdity by making sure he does not give up when he falls but come back stronger and energetic (Haugen 92). We are what we think we are just like Gregor who accept that he resembles an insect and he cannot do anything new with his life but rather toil in the room in his entire life. However, Gregor would have shown the effort of reclaiming back his previous status; his family would have sympathized with him instead of betraying him and totally rejecting him to the extent that they wish he were dead. At the time, he accepted defeat is the time he murdered his future and lost direction in life. Even though everything seemed not to be working for Gregor after the transition, he did not have to hide from his friends and family members because communicating and sharing your problem with the loved once is always the first step in problem-solving. Maybe the members of his family were willing to assist, but he was rigid to share his problem so they could not understand or identify the problem. It was not a wise decision to give up with your own life because no one can understand you better than yourself so Gregor would have maintained his integrity to help him fight for another day.

Gregor would have tried setting his goals and objective to direct him through his life rather than working with other opinion or working to please the rest. The narrative explains how the people Gregor tried to please before the transition were the same people who rejected him at the crucial time when he needed them most (Haugen 94). It is always a painful act to work in a manner to please other people rather than doing what makes you happy in life because you will never please everybody in the world or even your community no matter how good you try. Gregor would have taken his time to meditate, and instead of giving up in life he would have come up stronger to defend his dignity and personality in life.

Work Cited

Haugen, Hayley Mitchell. Readings On The Metamorphosis. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2002. Print.

Kafka, Franz et al. The Metamorphosis And Other Stories. Print.

Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis - The Original Classic Edition. [Place of publication not identified]: Emereo Pty Limited, 2012. Print.

Kuper, Peter, and Franz Kafka. The Metamorphosis. New York: Random House, 2004. Print.

Mosley, Nicholas. Metamorphosis. Champaign [u.a.]: Dalkey Archive Press, 2014. Print.

September 01, 2021




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