Essay On Gregor In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

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Vince Dinh
Mr. Platt
IB English SL
2 Mar 2018
The Representative Transformation of Gregor in The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, known for defining a new grotesque, or kafkaesque, genre of literature, explores the life of a travelling salesman after his unfortunate transformation into a giant vermin. As the novella progresses, Gregor Samsa becomes anything but human after the titular metamorphosis occurs. During his human life, being a hardworking salesman for his family, Gregor Samsa exuded common traits of the typical middle-class worker during the time, such as that he worked tirelessly for his family. Thereby, his intentions are selfless in nature when he chooses to provide money for the family instead of affection. Yet,
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As the story progresses, Gregor becomes aware of his waning humanity because of his lack of interaction with the other members of the family. His degradation as a human, however, began before his physical transformation, due to his ceaseless devotion to work. Informing the audience of the Samsa family’s backstory, at one point the narrator states that “They had been good times and they had never come again, at least not with the same splendour, even though Gregor had later earned so much that he was in a position to bear the costs of the whole family, and did bear them. They had even got used to it, both Gregor and the family, they took the money with gratitude and he was glad to provide it, although there was no longer much warm affection given in return” (Samsa 15). The narrator’s statement encapsulates the tragic path that Gregor took. In becoming the primary provider for the family, Gregor essentially sacrificed his role as a member of the family and became merely a tool to uphold the economic position of the Samsa household. Losing his ability to give affection towards his family and receiving it, love was replaced by the exchange of money between Gregor and the Samsas. The loss of affection in exchange for money represents Gregor’s first steps into his descent of losing his humanity. Once Gregor’s transformation takes place, it magnifies
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