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Metamorphosis2000 Essay, Research Paper
Upon completion of Kafka’s Metamorphosis I was immediately drawn away from the conclusion of the novel and back into the second section. It seemed to me that the true essence of the novella resided in the thoughts and observations revealed in this portion of the story. After watching the video adaptation I was once again intrigued by these events. I re-read the second section and found the first strong impressions of the grotesque were evident here.
Kafka used the constant setting of the Samsa household to show the true repercussions of the metamorphosis. It is here that Gregor is truly dehumanized. No longer can he stand the taste of what used to be his favorite dish. He is reduced to a vermin who feeds on rotted, decaying food and who finds the presence of fresh food repulsing. The very means by which he sustained himself is not fit for a human, but rather for a dependent beast.
Gregor’s eyesight begins to fail him. As his former self, he would spend hours looking out the window, studying, and reading; however, he now finds nothing more than a skewed perception of reality when doing these things. The whole worlds now looks and tastes different for Gregor. The world’s perception of him drives him away, and now his perception of the world drives him away even further. Alienation feeds upon itself. With the taste of moldy cheese in his mouth and the sight of nothing but a desolate gray
expanse in front of him, Gregor’s leisurely activity of snacking and staring out the window has been reduced to a sentence of feeding and suffering.
As his senses dwindle and alter, he also finds that his comfort zones do the same thing. Unlike a normal person who lies upon a couch or bed and fears what may lie under it, Gregor resides underneath the couch and hides from those who would normally rest atop. His world has been turned upside-down. He no longer roots himself to the floor, but clings to the ceiling. Gregor has metamorphosed and is now truly the unguers ungerzeifer.
Sadly, Gregor’s family treats him like the beast that he truly has become. Seeing the damages as irreparable, they strip him of his worldly possessions and leave him in a “naked den fit for a beast.” The struggle that he puts forth when his furniture is taken is symbolic of his struggle to return to human form. This is done in vain, though, as he has taken two steps backwards in an attempt to take one forward. The resulting squabble between Gregor and his family, is, in my opinion, the icing on the cake. The apple remains in his thorax as a constant reminder of his inability to become human once again.
In this section, a man is alienated as completely as one man can be. Resulting, is an altered perception of the world. Kafka’s feeling of separation most likely presented the same obstacle, providing him with the distorted view that produced this novella. This story comes from the mind of an obviously bothered human being. The alienation and dehumanization of Gregor seem to very clearly echoe the sentiments of Kafka.