Thursday, January 23, 2020

Essay on Metamorphosis of the Family in Kafkas Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis of the Family in Kafka's Metamorphosis      Ã‚   In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, the nature of Gregor Samsa's reality changes insignificantly in spite of his drastic physical changes. Gregor's life before the metamorphosis was limited to working and caring for his family. As a traveling salesman, Gregor worked long, hard hours that left little time to experience "life." He reflects on his life acknowledging the "plague of traveling: the anxieties of changing trains, the irregular, inferior meals, the ever changing faces, never to be seen again, people with whom one has no chance to be friendly" (Kafka 13). Gregor, working to pay off his family's debt, has resigned himself to a life full of work.    Kafka himself paralleled this sentiment in a quote taken from his diaries noting that no matter how hard you work "that work still doesn't entitle you to loving concern for people. Instead, you're alone, a total stranger, a mere object of curiosity" (Pawel 167). Gregor submerges himself in work and becomes a stranger to himself and to life. Any type of social contact beyond porters, waitresses or bartenders was non-existent. He had once met a "cashier in a hat shop, whom he had pursued earnestly but too slowly" (Kafka 76).    There was no room in Gregor's life for people other that his family and as a result was condemned to a life without love or caring not to mention basic companionship. He worked diligently to provide for his family and that remained his only goal in life. Gregor's family relied on him to be the "breadwinner" of the family, but gave him nothing in return. The life that he had led until now was one fully of obligations and loneliness; he came home to empty hotel rooms or his apathetic fam... ...g him and longing for his demise. Can anyone be sure that their lives are good and perfect and that their families would understand and accept any change that could arise? The fact is that above and beyond all things a person must consider themselves first, however selfish it might appear. Sense of self will keep you through all the adverse times in life and be a companion to rely on when no one else cares.    Works Cited Eggenschwiler, David. "'The Metamorphosis', Freud, and the Chains of Odysseus". Franz Kafka: Modern Critical Views. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. 199-219. Emrich, Wilhelm. Franz Kafka: A Critical Study of His Writings. New York: Ungar, 1968. Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis. Trans. A.L. Lloyd. New York: Vanguard Press, Inc., 1946. Pawel, Ernst. The Nightmare of Reason. New York: Vintage Books, 1984.

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