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Ideas on The Metamorphosis

I learn Kafka’s The Metamorphosis for the primary time yesterday. It has been a very long time since a e book made me really feel a lot in so few pages.

I do know there are a lot of totally different interpretations and I suppose what I felt instantly was pretty simplistic, nevertheless it spoke to sensible fears of mine of being trapped in my very own physique, unable to speak or take care of myself and being a burden to these round me, a scenario the place I’m positive I would like dying.

At instances I noticed Gregor not as an inhuman creature, however as an actual individual bothered by a horrible illness horrifying to his household, although they nonetheless know he’s Gregor. He’s nonetheless mentally himself although slowly sinks into despair, the ultimate straw being his sister’s exclamation “now we have to attempt to eliminate it”, her dehumanisation and her rejection of him as her brother confirming that he’s a burden to his household and permitting himself to die. I am unable to say I would not select the identical had been I in Gregor’s place.

Having considered it in a single day I’ve a small difficulty. I believe the immediacy of Gregor’s dying after Grete’s outburst recommend that he would have died presently anyway and isn’t in the end a results of a type of suicide. The accidents he has sustained and his hunger (though admittedly a results of his despair) would have resulted in his dying on that night time regardless. If that is so, has Gregor truly chosen dying or would have he continued on, understanding how his household really feel in regards to the scenario?

What are your ideas? Was Gregor’s affirmation that he was a burden to his household sufficient to push him over the sting in direction of dying or was it inevitable?

I’ve a lot extra ideas on this that I am nonetheless processing. I am now a Kafka convert advert cannot wait to learn extra.

Comments ( 9 )

  1. >I know there are many different interpretations and I suppose what I felt immediately was fairly simplistic, but it spoke to realistic fears of mine of being trapped in my own body, unable to communicate or look after myself and being a burden to those around me, a situation where I am sure I would prefer death.

    It spoke to my fear of being seen as a function of my material contribution to my family/society. That all the love I’ve received/will receive is conditioned by my potential or current usefulness. And as soon as I stop contributing, I’ll be abandoned.

    >What are your thoughts? Was Gregor’s confirmation that he was a burden to his family enough to push him over the edge towards death or was it inevitable?

    I think he just gave in at that point. It was inevitable, but he abandoned all hope. But to be fair, it’s been a decade since I’ve read it, so I’m a bit fuzzy on the details.

  2. I’ve always interpreted it through the lens of Kafka’s own life. Kafka’s father was a domestic tyrant, and Kafka himself worked himself to the bone trying to meet his father’s expectations. I’ve only ever been able to see Gregor as Kafka himself, during a period in which he might have fallen ill and been rendered bedridden for a time. His self-perception as an immobile, unwelcome object of disgust and contempt in his household during a period where he was unable to work and therefore unable to meet the demands placed on him by his despotic father, and his conscious awareness of his uselessness and his wretched despair as he hears his family deriding him for his uselessness in that time, seems like a strong parallel between Gregor’s situation and Kafka’s own life experiences.

    Kafka seemed to use his writing as a form of catharsis or self-therapy, and never intended for anyone to read his work. Knowing this, the autobiographical allegory is the only interpretation I can see.

  3. I think he probably would have died either way, but Grete’s remark was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  4. The novel has always been read as a critique of society, specifically capitalist society.

    Under capitalism, the value of a man is reduced to how much he can produce. If he cannot produce anything, he is not worth anything. He is dehumanized. He is nothing but an insect.

    You can change his transformation to just a degenerative desease and the book would read the same.

  5. In my understanding, metamorphosis is a straightforward story. It revolves around the idea that if one is unable to fulfill their responsibilities towards their family or society, they become essentially worthless. Kafka’s portrayal of this notion in his work is relatable, particularly the drastic changes in behavior exhibited by those around the main character, as well as the anguish he endures throughout the book due to the absurd circumstances that leave him feeling powerless and yearning to take action. These relatable elements contribute to its classification as a classic. I would also recommend reading “The Trial,” as it delves deep into the Kafkaesque realm of thought.

  6. I’ve been trying to read this book three times and can’t seem to finish it, I just find it a a little bit boring and depressing

  7. It strikes me because I feel like Gregor most of the times…like the burden of making sure everyone in my family has what they need is on me. And it’s frickn exhausting. I think the better term is codependency. The end kind of helped me see that maybe I’m not the end all be all for my family, that they’d still function or adapt, whatever you may call it, without me. It was a bit relieving actually.

  8. I read it as a story about isolation and how quickly relationships deteriorate when they are no longer equitable to people.

    Frankly, it’s irrelevant to the story that Gregor turned into a giant bug. What matters is that Gregor became useless to the people around him. He became helpless. An embarrassment and what’s worse, people were relying on him and now they have to make do without.

    His father went back to work. His family had to take in tenants and so on.

    Even his sister who seemingly cares for him, only did so because it was empowering to her. As soon as Gregor indicated he needed help that actually helps *him* instead of just making his sister feel better, she withdrew her help.

    In the end, his own father viciously attacks Gregor because he got fed up with the embarrassment and damage to the family reputation. And when Gregor finally died, it was a source of relief rather than grief.

    The story doesn’t even end with the family reflecting on Gregor. It ends on them enjoying their newfound freedom and the joyful realisation that his sister is blooming into an attractive young woman that will attract renewed positive interest in the family as suitors will flock to her.

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