The Representative Transformation Of Gregor In Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis
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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, this altruism ultimately compromised his humanity, as he abandoned his own needs and alienated his family in the process of becoming the primary economic supporter of the family. While becoming what his family desired, he casted aside traits, such as attending to his own wants, that defines humanity. In essence, he trades his humanity in order to become a mere component in the grand scheme of society. Ultimately, his physical transformation exemplifies the quality of the life he led thus far, symbolizing his slavery to the dollar and alienation of his family and needs.
Gregor’s transformation represents his role as a slave to labor. Initially, Gregor seems almost unconcerned with his transformation other than that it is somewhat