Juxtaposition In The Metamorphosis

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Throughout “The Metamorphosis,” Franz Kafka uses a tone of absurdity and presents a contrast between what is expected in the normal world and what actually occurs in the story to show the ability of one to stifle their identity and opportunities. The opening line of the piece presents the contrast between the expected and unexpected in a very straightforward way, as it matter-of-factly states how Gregor Samsa “found himself transformed into an enormous insect” (Kafka 195). The presentation of this line acts as if the transformation of a human into an animal is rather expected and not out of the ordinary, and as a result, the reader finds that their expectations for the story should not be usual. The placement of this line at the very beginning …show more content…

While the Deputy Director and his family are outside, all that Gregor can think about is wanting to “get up, quietly and undisturbed, get dressed, and above all eat breakfast” (197). If he had not just turned into an insect, this routine would be a normal expectation for the morning. However, there is the major challenge of having a complete transformation of his species in this story, and yet Gregor seems to be unconcerned with that fact. Instead, he is more concerned with getting to work and completing his duties, as if his physical state of being an insect will have no impact on how people view him or how he is able to sell fabric. This contrast between the usual and the new, unexpected situation that Gregor is in shows an absurd tone as Kafka writes a storyline for Gregor that is likely not the response that most people would have to the horrifying idea of turning into an …show more content…

For example, when he is trying to leave his room, and is struggling to turn the key, he imagines that he is being encouraged by his family, as he thinks, “all of them should have cheered him on, his father and mother, too: ‘Come on, Gregor,’ they should have called, ‘keep at it, keep working the lock!’ (202). It is interesting that Kafka chooses to voice the thoughts of Gregor here as opposed to another character, because this passage shows the changed mental state that Gregor is now in. For the parents and Deputy Director, they are surely not listening to Gregor and hoping that he is physically able to turn a key, because they have no idea that he turned into an insect. But for Gregor, this task is now nearly impossible, so opening the door is a great success to him. This whole situation creates a ridiculous picture of Gregor trying to go about his day as an insect like he would do any other day as a human. The idea of an insect trying to turn a key in itself is a bizarre picture, so Kafka is able to contrast the expectations of the Deputy Director and his family with the actual reality – which in itself is unrealistic – of Gregor’s new physical

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